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The Case for Selling Human Organs Ronald Bailey | April 18, 2001National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week is, by order of Congress, celebrated this week. It's been 34 years since Dr. Christian Bernard performed the world's first heart transplant in Cape Town, South Africa, but the modern era of organ transplantation essentially began when the anti-rejection drug cyclosporin was introduced in 1981.In 2000, 22,827 organs were transplanted in the United States. Since 1990, a total of 185,347 organs have been transplanted into patients in the U.S. That's the good news.The bad news is that, according to the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are now 75,863 men, women and children on the national organ transplantation waiting list. That's up from 20,481 a decade ago. Cadaveric donors--that is brain-dead donors--increased from 4,011 in 1989 to 5,984 in 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An average of 3.6 organs for transplant were taken from cadaveric donors. Meanwhile living donors surged from 1,918 in 1989 to 5,532 in 2000.Despite these increases, an average of 15 people still die every day while waiting for an organ that could have saved their lives. "With the success and acceptance of organ transplantation, it has become routine therapy for many diseases," UNOS President Patricia Adams says. "We have the know-how to save tens of thousands of lives. What we don't have are enough donated organs to make it p

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