The organ trade tweet-bate highlights: Iran, penises, prostitutes

The Economist, a respected global economics publication, held their second Twitter debate entitled 'Should the trading of human organs be allowed?' on July 6 at 3pm UK time. 


It isn't exactly clear if the tweet-bate worked.

Designed to be an hour where #WDYS followers and those with an opinion for or against legalizing the organ trade, turned into lots of retweets (RT) repeating the same facts, a series of random comments and unanswered questions.

 - "The organ trade debate of @theeconomist was interesting after all, even though it seems difficult to get a 'real conversation'." - RolandLegrand

 - "Please slow down with your tweets - they are drowning out the rest of my feed." - paul_mclaughlin

  - "It's too complicated issue within 15 mins. Combined with 'Ethic, Policy, Some even religious fuuuuuuuuuuu." - Lamnataliekim

 - "Want to see how unobjective, economistic individual market liberalism persists today around complicated ethical issues? Click this tag #wdys"  - Knowgreen

The Economist laid out a number of points for and against legalizing the organ trade on their Facebook page for the event on July 1 along with suggested reading. During the tweet-bate they moderated and offered organ trade facts and stats:

 - "In the US over 100,000 people are waiting for kidneys and other organs; around 10,000 die each year before getting a transplant."
 - "Suggestion reason for: There is a desperate organ shortage. Around 1,000 people die in Britain alone each year waiting for transplants"
 - "In 1988 Iran made it legal to sell kidneys. In 3 years, Iran no longer had a kidney transplant waiting list." (100+ RT)
 - "The US with an opt-in system has deceased organ donor rate of 27 per 1m population; Greece with opt-out has just 6."
 - "Israel now allows donors to be paid fixed compensation of around US$5-6,000 for loss of earnings during recuperation after surgery."
 - "Within 5 years, the first commercial 3D 'bio' printer in US hopes to be producing blood vessels for by-pass surgery"
 - "Interestingly around 40 types of organs can now be transplanted, including faces and penises." (61 RT)

The discussion was invited to continue on Facebook:

Also, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in London is holding a consultation and would like to know "your views on how we should respond to the current demand for organs, sperm, eggs and other human material for use in medical treatment and research" by July 13. To lend your opinion, go to:

To see all the tweets from the tweet-bate that included more on Iran, the black market, altruism, prostitutes and surrogates, follow: #wdys on twitter and if you are not current on the organ trade/donor situation worldwide take a look at these articles:

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