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Should People Sell their Organs or Donate Them?
It is unfortunate to say that for decades the mankind has suffered the issue of organ failure. Individuals have been facing this problem even before the B.C. that is why the procedure of organ donation is quite widespread today. After impeccable research and practice, doctors have made the process of organ transplant quite smooth. Nowadays, it is very rare for a patient to reject an organ transplant due to the great advancement in technology and knowledge. It is a known fact that currently, people need organ donations more than ever. In accordance with American research around 18 people lose their life on a regular basis waiting for an organ transplant. It is unfortunate that the number keeps on increasing every day. Stats indicate that more than 80% of the American population support organ donation. However, only 30% of that 80% population actually took action and signed up for organ donation. It is evident that there is a great need for organ donation but there is also a great debate surrounding the legalization of organ selling. There are many individuals who believe that if the selling and buying of organs are made legal, half the issue will be resolved. This essay will give an in-depth look amid the pros and cons of both donation and selling of organs while reflecting on how a well-regulated organ trade can make a great difference.
There is no doubt in the fact that the system of majority of the countries is failing to decrease the number of people on the organ donation list. Unfortunately, most people end up losing their lives while being on the waiting list. That is why the Government needs to make new reforms and development in order to change this situation. Lately, individuals are talking about legalizing the selling of organs. One of the most positive aspects of organ donation is that every other religion supports this notion. The saving of life carries great importance in the teachings of all religions. The donating of organs is looked at with a positive eye either the donation is being done by a living or deceased individual. However, there are a few religions that have posed an issue surrounding organ donation from a deceased individual. All and all, this notion has great support in general (Veatch, 103-120). There are some religions that encourage individuals to donate organs, while others believe that it is the choice of the person. There are three aspects due to which organ donation is supported by most of the religions:
It will help save the life of an individual.
The donor does not face any damage during the transplant process.
The donor has the right to donate the organ with their own will without any commercial profit.
In accordance with these points, the procedure of organ donation is supported by many individuals and religions. However, the same procedure loses its support when the factor of price is added. In accordance with Pope John Paul: "buying and selling human organs violates the dignity of the human." While most religions support the notion of donating an organ, they condemn the selling and buying of body parts (Veatch, 103-120). It is believed that the involvement of price puts in a moral issue. So, there is no support for the legalization of organ selling. Having said that, the people who are currently on the organ donation waiting list are in a lot of pain. Every second is important for them. Although there has been an increase in organ donors, individuals still have to wait a substantial amount of time for their turn. Some people even face adverse health conditions in the waiting process. With wait comes pain and no religion supports a human in pain (Schwartz, 57). So, if the selling and buying of organs is made legal this issue can be resolved as many people who are in dire need of money will immediately look into the offer.
Over the course of time tissue and organ donation have become an integral part of the healthcare segment. Research shows that the number of people who require a donor transplant is increasing by the day. Health issues are leading to people needing an organ transplant one way or the other. There are times when this issue turns into a business for people. Some individuals are cold enough to look at this issue as an opportunity. However, there are still many people who mainly want to help the people in need one way or the other.
A great example to explain this dilemma would be kidney failure. There are many people who are waiting for a renal transplant and are going through dialysis as they wait. This is an issue because patients suffer great physical and psychological pain because of dialysis and not to forget the never-ending pain. Some people even lose their life in the process. This issue can be resolved if organ selling is legalized. However, there is another dilemma that can arise because of it. There will be many financially unstable donors who make use of this option, but they will not be given the right amount of money based on their financial status (Champney, 25-29). No matter how much the procedure is regulated, there is a chance that people might not be compensated enough. The black market also serves as an example to understand the magnitude of this issue.
Without a doubt, it is next to impossible to terminate and demolish the black market completely. However, if the market is made legal and the control and regulation are given to a licensed professional, many issues can be resolved (Cohen, 121-171). The professional doctors can make sure that the donor and the patient are compatible and the organ or tissue is transplanted in a safe manner without bringing anyone any harm. The regulation will also help financially desperate people from getting exploited. This procedure will prove to bring a great change in the waiting list of the people who require help. Even though the waiting list might never go away for good, but it is predicted that the number of people on the list will decrease for sure. The example of Iran is great in this context (Schwartz, 57). Their system might not be perfect but it is making a mark in the market.
There are many experts who criticize the system that is being used by Iran, but there is no doubt in the fact that what they are doing is actually working. Their system is being regulated by the state and the not-for-profit organizations like the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases and CASKP. Both the state and these organizations make sure that the quality and procedure that is being followed stays in check and is up to the mark (Sandhu). They make sure that commerce is fair and no one suffers injustice. There are many people who argue that legalizing the organ market will lead to the rich getting unfair advantages over the poor, but one should keep in mind that the current system is also problematic. In all honesty, there is still no optimum solution to perfecting the organ trade.
People who are alive should also consider organ donation. Individuals who are living can donate their liver, intestines, pancreas or part of their lung without facing any health issues in the long-term. Having said that, there are many people who would rather sell their organs. Yes, there are certain financial pressures that people who want to sell their organs face, but at the end of the day it is a decision that they make with their own free will. There is no denying the fact that legalizing the organ market can help many people get the financial stability that they have been wanting (Champney, 25-29). So, the rich are not the only people who will be benefitting from the legalization of the organ market, it can also benefit a financially struggling individual with stability.
Only the major aspects of both sides can be considered in this regard. There is no doubt in the fact that organ donation is always going to be favored over selling. The reason behind it is that organ donation is deemed ethically and morally correct. Everyone will always look at the buying and selling of an organ in a negative light. However, these morals should not be given preference over the saving of an individual's life and medical standards and ethics. The main ethical issue that is stopping the organ market from getting legalized is the religious beliefs of different groups of people. On the other hand, medical ethics specifically depend on saving a patient's life at any cost and giving them the best care possible. If a doctor is giving a patient the best care and treatment for a specific cost then there should not be any ethical dilemma around the selling and buying of organs either. Further, there is no doubt in the fact that people who are on the waiting list of organ donation are indeed in a lot of pain. There is no religion that approves an individual being in pain if there is a way to ease it. Yes, there is a dilemma of injustice, but this fact can be managed very well with the regulation of the market and system by a medical professional. The donor-recipient will also lose their misery while gaining health. If the donor market is controlled, it can help benefit both sides of the spectrum.
Veatch, Robert M. "Why liberals should accept financial incentives for organ procurement." Organ and Tissue Transplantation. Routledge, 2017. 103-120.
Schwartz, Laurel. "Ethical and Legal Implications of Compensated Organ Donation." GLOBAL KIDNEY EXCHANGE (2017): 57.
Champney, Thomas H. "The business of bodies: Ethical perspectives on for‐profit body donation companies." Clinical Anatomy 29.1 (2016): 25-29.
Cohen, Lloyd R. "Increasing the supply of transplant organs: the virtues of a futures market." Organ and Tissue Transplantation. Routledge, 2017. 121-171.
Sandhu, Amarpreet S. Given the shortage of kidneys for transplant and increasing number of deaths while waiting for a transplant, should people sell or donate their one kidney, and does their opinion differ based on the age, gender, education level, income level, or compensation?. Diss. 2019.
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