An Argumentative Essay on Commercialization of Transplants:
The question of whether to legalize the sale of human organs or not is very sensitive. The issue of a commercialized human organs supply chain has continued to receive a lot of interest in the society. Seemingly, policy makers are shying away from coming up with suggestions or solutions on the way forward regarding this issue. From one point of view, commercialization of human organ supply has the potential of meeting the current demand of organs for transplant that is being witnessed worldwide. On the other hand, there are so many ethical issues that surround this issue. Since human organs are hard to find and can be sold at high prices, it is feared that such a legalization of organ trade might cause a frenzy for the search of such rare commodities, thus necessitating people to harm or kill others so as to get their organs (Schweda & Schicktanz, 2009).
Reports have shown that China is the leading country when it comes to human organs transplant. Nonetheless, this is not surprising since China has been notorious for its abuse of animal rights. Just recently, there was uproar in the whole of the world resulting from the use of live animals as key holders. It is only in this country that about ten thousand cases of human transplant take place every year. Since some patients are desperate to get an organ for their transplant, they end up ordering such from the black market. This lead to a highly developed and coordinated chain of underground dealers specializing in the sale of human organs (Tober, 2007).
Organ black markets are becoming popular worldwide. Because most country does not have perfect organ donation system, many patients have to die while on the waiting. However, huge profits and a huge market demand has given way to the underground black market of human organ trafficking.
I am of the opinion that human transplants should not be commercialized. In other words, the law should not allow any person to reap profits from other people’s organs. If there is anyone who should benefit, then it should be the donor and the recipient. I find human organ trafficking to be very unethical, due to the fact that many of the activities that are involved in the acquisition of such and are illegal and disrespectful to human dignity (Schweda & Schicktanz, 2009).
My standpoint is based on the utilitarianism principle which asserts that something is judged as being correct or incorrect, right or wrong or appropriate or inappropriate depending on the consequences of a particular outcome. If the consequences are good, the action is justifiable. If the consequences are negative, the action is not justifiable. Studies have shown the annual income of black American organ trafficking are about 10 billion. RTI Biological Company, whose headquarter is in Florida is one of largest organ trafficking organization in America, earned $147000000 from this sale in 2008 (Moisse & Unit, 2011). It therefore means that if the business of human organs is legalized, there are only a few selfish individuals who will end up benefiting from such a trade. Even the thought of dealing in human body part sales as if they are just like any other spares parts you buy in shop is really de-humanizing. We are talking about the lives of people, those that lose such lives while giving the organ and those that needs to be saved by the same organs.
At present, most countries and regions have banned the sale of human organs, but some countries or regions do not have explicit laws that criminalize organ trade. The United States of Americais one of them. The sale of human organs violates the foundational ethics that touch on human life. Transplantation which is more or less equal to life is too precious to be commercialized, enabling unscrupulous business people to make a kill out of it.
The only way to make things right when it comes to the availability of human organs for transplant is to encourage voluntary donations, which can rival the supply from the black market. This also ensures that such an organ is in good condition since for black market traders, one will never be sure of the condition of such an organ, based on the fact that the dealers are always trying to hide from the law. Therefore, even their medical history cannot be verified. Many of them have a greed for money and can sell a defective organ to get free money (Rothman & Rothman, 2006).
I do not deny that the legalization of human organ sale will make more organs become available. However, a successful organ transplant needs highly matched organs. The closer the match between the donor and the recipient is, the less will the recipient suffer from graft rejection. That is why donations especially from family members should be encouraged. Highly matched organs are usually found from genetically close parents or siblings. As for unrelated people, the match can only be close enough to do the transplant operation, but graft rejection is much more severe and there is a higher risk, the recipient will die or need another transplant after several years (Moisse & Unit, 2011). In addition, unlike donors, the sellers’ main purpose is financial gain. So buyers will be faced with high risk of receiving morbid organs and suffer a lot. All in all, policy may be able to increase the number of available organs, but increasing the number of individuals who successfully recover from transplants is difficult.
Organ sale or trafficking should be considered a serious crime. From the legal perspective citizens, the right to life and health is invaluable. Organs cannot be simply defined as individual’s property since they have personality attributes. Selling organs is like selling the dignity of life, which is definitely an infringement of citizens’ right to life and health. For that reason, it is preposterous to legalize a behavior that infringes on aright that is protected by law.
The commercialization of the trade on human organs cannot solve the current problems in the organ transplants. Instead, it will do a lot of harm to the society. There should be policies put in pace to encourage organ donation. Transplants are there to supplement human physiology and not to harm it or replace it in any way, since human being are not God and its only God who has the power to create and take a life.People should establish the correct concept of life. Prohibition on the sale of human organs should be enforced by the law and universal ethics.
Moisse, K., & Unit, A. (2011, February 18). Transplant Program Shut Down After Man Gets Wrong Kidney. ABC News. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/usc-shuts-transplant-program-man-wrong-kidney/story?id=12951883
Rothman, S. M., & Rothman, D. J. (2006). The Hidden Cost of Organ Sale. . American Journal of Transplantation, 6(7), 1524-1528.
Schweda, M.,& Schicktanz, S. (2009). The “Spare Parts Person”? Conceptions of the Human Body and their Implications for Public Attitudes towards Organ Donation and Organ Sale. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 4(1), 4.
Tober, D. M. (2007). Kidneys and Controversies in the Islamic Republic of Iran: The Case of Organ Sale. Body & Society, 13(3), 151-170.