Pollard 1Valeria PollardM. TotherowEnglish 3- Block 225 March 2013Permitting the Sale of Human OrgansThousands of people die every year waiting for an organ transplant. Only 20,000 kidneysare available every year, but there are 80,000 patients waiting to receive one of these kidneys(Gregory). No one should have to die on a waiting list. Permitting the sale of organs willalleviate the shortage of donor organs, if regulated.There are insufficient numbers of donor organs available; by offering a financialincentive most people would be more likely to donate their organs, therefore reducing the donororgan shortage. Also, less people would have to die, and there would be a reduced waiting time,which could cut medical costs for dialysis patients. Not only will those receiving the organ behelped, but also the sellers by relieving them of any financial stress. “Eliminating black marketbrokers would divert funds to kidney sellers. Money saved by decreasing the number of dialysispatients might fund additional kidney transplants” (Cummings). Ending this prohibition can helpmany people and end the black market trade.Many peoplewho donate blood, eggs, semen, tissue, bone marrow, or entire cadavers areoften compensated, why not organ donors?The National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984made the sale of organs illegal (Pence). Punishment for breaking this law could be up to 10 yearsin prison and a $500,000 fine. Transplants are not free; everyone involved gets paid (very well)except for the donor. According to the Bellagio Report on paid organ transplantation in 1997“After all, transplantation is hardly a commercial-free transaction. Hospitals, surgeons, organ
Pollard 2retrieval teams and procurement organizations regularly sell their services. Why should thesource of the organ be the only one not financially rewarded?” (qtd. in Pence). By not offering afinancial reward it is hypocritical since people are compensated for donating other parts fromtheir body.In other countries the sale of organs is legal. In Iran it is permitted to sell kidneys, andthey do not have a shortage of kidneys. If it has worked in another country, it could work here aswell. Transplant surgeon, Nadley Hakim, makes the point “this trade is going on anyway, whynot have a controlled trade where if someone wants to donate a kidney for a particular price, thatwould be acceptable? If it is done safely, the donor will not suffer” (Gregory). Dr. Hakim iscorrect. By making it legal and safe there will be no harm to people who happen to be dealingwith the black market. “In Japan you can buy livers and kidneys harvested from executedChinese prisoners” (Gregory). After the organs are harvested they are transplanted into peoplewho need organs or often sold on the black market; these prisoners are often not very healthy anddo not have effective, well working organs that should be transplanted into other humans,making the organ receiver more likely to have organ failure.There is a black market trade going on today, not only in foreign countries, but here inthe United States as well. People, often desperate for money, decide to go to other countries toget a kidney removed. The seller will usually receive between $650 and $200,000, depending onthe country (Kidney). A black market for human tissue exists here, it usually involves funeralhomes who are about to cremate bodies; first collecting the tissue and then selling them toanAmerican research facility, after making up false paperwork (Scheve). Here in America peoplereceive these organs without knowing where they came from. With regulation it can help stopthis and make more healthy organs available to those who need them. The World Health
Pollard 3Organization,“estimates that the black market accounts for 20% of kidney transplantsworldwide” (Gregory). This is shown in the graph below:(Gregory)Permitting the sale of organs can be a good thing, but there are also a few setbacks.Donating organs is un-ethical; selling organs for a profit is not morally okay. Also, there aremany risks involved in a transplant.Selling any organ is wrong. It is a form of self-mutilation, and no one should do that tothemselves. Selling an organ for money is a bad motive. People should not hurt themselves justto make a profit. By giving a reward for donating an organ, it will exploit poor and vulnerablepeople (Meilaender). These people will give up organs just to get money and they might use themoney for bad things, which will make society a worse place to live in.There are also many risks that come along with donating an organ. Organs are non-renewable, so once you give one away you will never get it back. Just like any other surgerythere are many risks. There could be organ failure which could lead to death. James Tart, anorgan donor, says the surgery is“very painful, they have to cut the donor 12-15 inches to get hiskidney out”. He also says “changes in the way you manage your bladder, one kidney workingKidneyTransplantsOther KidneyTransplantsBlack Market Kidney Transplants
Pollard 4harder to cleanse the body”, is a result to having only one kidney.Putting yourself at risk forthese things is just wrong. All of the reasons previously listed are surely the reason that the saleof organs is not permitted.Although there are setbacks, there are ways to prevent those things from happening iflegalized. There are a few systems that could help to regulate the sale of organs. A Pure marketsystem is where living people can donate their kidneys, bone marrow, and some liver. Thissystem works by one person selling an organ and another person buying the organ,independently. A Regulated System is when an agency will set everything up and ensure that thewhole process is handled in a well-mannered way; this will ensure that there is no harm to eitherperson and that both parties receive a set amount of money. Rewarded cadaveric donation isoffering families money to encourage them to donate organs of relatives who are brain dead(Pence).The best systems would most likely be the regulated system and rewarded cadavericdonation. The regulated system would be able to make sure that everything runs smoothlywithout stress on the donor or the organ recipient. This will also ensure that the organ is a matchand that the surgery is safe with minimal risks. The rewarded cadaveric donation could help thedonating family financially after the death of their loved one and the person who receives theorgan is now able to live a longer, healthier life. By using one of these systems as, a form ofregulation, the sale of organs can be safely regulated.After discussing the pros and cons of this subject, it is believed that withregulation,permitting the sale of organ will reduce the shortage of organs, as long as it isregulated to ensure the safety of the people who may be involved.