How much is a life worth?

I recently came across the story of Jessica Cowin when a friend linked to it in an email to me. Jessica was born with a heart condition that required several surgeries, a pacemaker at a young age, and eventually a heart transplant at age 16.

In the years sine the heart transplant, Jessica has been doing well, but almost 10 years later, the drugs she takes to prevent rejection of the transplanted heart have destroyed her kidneys. The good news is that her sister is a match and can donate a life-saving kidney to her.

The problem is that there is a high cost to the transplant surgery. Jessica's insurance doesn't cover much. Her health insurance will cover up to $30,000 of the cost of a transplant, but the surgery is expected to cost over $100,000, plus $30,000 in related treatments. In order to get the surgery, Jessica needs to pay for it in full up front. The surgical team will not proceed with the transplant until they are paid.