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Based on organic composition, how much is a human being worth in dollars and cents?

Question #2533. Asked by Jackie.
Last updated Sep 15 2016.

Answer has 7 votes
Currently Best Answer
23 year member
3694 replies avatar

Answer has 7 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
In the 1950s a scientist discovered by breaking down the different elements from which the human body is made, that each person is worth $1.78
[ url needs to be updated ]

At current prices, the average body is worth about $80,000 to the 'cadaver industry,' which finds lucrative uses for the roughly 130 pieces of body tissue that are extracted, sterilized, cut up, and put on the market.
[ url needs to be updated ]

May 11 2002, 6:03 PM
Yaarbiriah star
Answer has 3 votes
Yaarbiriah star
20 year member
107 replies avatar

Answer has 3 votes.
This reference given gives a great break down.. each organ you have is worth a certain amount for transplant. Eggs and sperm also have their value. Extracted antibodies are worth a few million. The whole package is worth over $45 million! Of course you could never legally or morally sell a person like that, but that's the monetary value estimate given. That's not even counting DNA information which may well add more millions.


Response last updated by satguru on Sep 15 2016.
Apr 24 2007, 6:12 PM
Answer has 3 votes
17 year member
2344 replies

Answer has 3 votes.
We could use two different meanings of "organic" on this one:
1. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter.
2. Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ: an organic disease.

Down at the bottom of Yaarbiriah's site is a link to this one:
link (replaced by satguru)
I don't know how reliable it is, but it's copyrighted 2007 and shows the chemical composition of the body by percent, estimating its value at just under $1.00. Adding the value of the skin as a leather substitute (!) adds another $3.50. (That would be the first definition.)

That indicates, for you economics students, that demand alone multiplies the body's intrinsic worth by 10,000,000. (That would be the second definition.)

So far. Developments in medicine and other sciences could increase or decrease that value significantly as more body parts come into demand or more prosthetics and synthetics are developed and demand for genuine parts slacks or plunges.

I wonder who gets that $45,000,000. Not the deceased! This is making me sick.

If anybody wants to go down a rabbit trail, check out the ransoms that have been paid for kidnaped individuals.

Response last updated by satguru on Sep 15 2016.
Apr 24 2007, 11:00 PM
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