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Does ‘American Way’ mean all’s for sale?

Marc Winokur
Saturday December 08, 2001


Well what do you know, the indomitable “American Way” which we are defending in blazing glory across the globe, has forced the American Medical Association to consider paying “dying, would-be donors and their families for vital organs.” Isn’t this a bit of an ethical oxymoron? Here we are, blowing a country to smithereens to dislodge a despotic enemy. Kidneys, hearts, lungs…you name it are being splattered all over Afghanistan to protect our “liberty,” yet we can’t seem to invoke that ‘liberty’ to come together as a country and provide our own population of 78,000 seriously ill residents with transplants that could save their lives.  

Is this what our freedom is all about? Apparently, it is. While 15 people die daily waiting for transplants, most of us ignore this need, as we do much of the more unpleasant realities that taint the ever more fragile American Dream. Meanwhile, 2001 has set new records for Suv’s…both in size and sales. Idiotic “reality shows” dominate commercial television. The disparity between rich and poor goes on, unabated. Do we really have to “buy” everything to prove our allegiance to the principles of freedom, including organs that have no use whatsoever to anyone but to sanctify our indifference to others? 


Marc Winokur