In theory, if you could harvest every organ and chemical in your body, you could make a cool $45M! But in reality, Medical Transcription estimates, the average price of a human dead body is more likely to fetch around $550,000 (with a few key body parts driving up the price).
So how does that all break down? Well, first depends if we're talking about selling your organs legally or via the black market. The biggest-ticket organ you can legally sell in the U.S. is your heart: They're going for a cool $1 million. Livers come in second, worth about $557,000 and kidneys fetch about $262,000 each. Widespread diabetes and heart disease is what have made these particular organs so expensive.
On the black market, however, prices are considerably lower: maybe 10% of the above costs. In the US alone, there are currently 123,000 people waiting for organs (100,000 for kidneys), but only about 14,000 organs are donated per year. This means every day about 18 die waiting for a transplant. This world-wide organ shortage have caused a black market to crop up: the old "supply and demand thing". Surely Adam Smith had no idea the economic concept he coined would one day be applied to human skin ($10/inch), stomach ($500) and eyeballs ($1,500 each) one day.
The creepiest part of all this is where black market organs are coming from. The abject poor in dire need of cash, prisoners (dead and alive!), looted graves ... some entrepreneurial organ brokers have resorted to paying off morticians at funeral homes! There is a simple way to fight this growing (and gross) practice: become an organ donor, which you can do over at OrganDonor.gov. Are you an organ donor? Great! If not, share your reasons in the comment section!
The Need Is Real: Data (OrganDonor.gov)
"Organ transplantation has become an accepted medical treatment for end-stage organ failure. But only you can help make it happen."
Organ Donation And Transplantation Statistics: (Kidney.org)
"There are currently 122,737 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S. Of These, 100,602 await kidney transplants."
Your Body Part Price List: You're Worth More Dead Than Alive: (Infographic)
"A little short on rent? Bank threatening to take your car? Well, if you're not using your spleen at the moment, you could get just over $500 for it."
How Much Is Your Body Worth on the Black Market: (FinanceDegreeCenter.com)
"Organs and tissue are used for millions of transplants and medical products yearly."
State Organ and Tissue Donor Registries
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