The Times' editorial goes on to discuss how to ration kidneys, based on all sorts of math and stuff. They don't get that their editorial goes off the rail in the first sentence.
The number of kidneys available for transplants falls far short of the need, so there is no choice but to ration them. An emotionally difficult proposal to change the first-come-first-served transplant system makes good sense.
There are nearly 90,000 people on waiting lists to receive kidney transplants, and in 2009 there were only some 10,400 kidneys from dead donors to give them. And about 6,300 kidneys were transplanted from living people who donated one of their two kidneys and usually specified the recipient.
No choice but rationing? How about letting people sell them? Sure, this is double-plus ungood, immoral, yadda yadda yadda. But nobody argue that letting people sell a kidney would not increase the supply of healthy transplants.
So let's talk about the moral aspect. Actually, the Times' editorial's second paragraph starts this, and continues it here:
Currently the kidneys from dead donors are provided, through an organ procurement and transplantation network, to people who have been waiting the longest. That may seem fair since many transplant candidates wait for years, and some die while waiting.So: people are waiting years, and sometimes die before getting to the top of the list. Tens of thousands of people are waiting, and suffering. Quite frankly, I would say that it's immoral to propose "rational management" of that suffering before you propose trying to eliminate that suffering.
But I didn't go to an Ivy League, so what do I know? Besides, the Times' rationing proposal will provide all sorts of opportunities for "the right people" to get great paying jobs in health care, in positions of power. With ample opportunity to bump their friends up to the top of the list, and their enemies down to the bottom. But remember, it's the only moral choice.