In this activity, I would like to choose Case G-General Health as I am studying the stand pathway of health science. For this case, I will apply utilitarianism theory to explore this case in the practice.
Utilitarian theory aims for the smallest possible amount of harm and the greatest possible amount of benefit. Organs transplant as a medical treatment has been benefit for majority people who have kind of diseases. But organ shortage has been a problem in this treatment (Childress, 1996). To solving this problem, sale of organs in some particular cases should be considered as a good thing. The person’s organs belong to them and they should be able to do with them as they wish under the autonomy principle. And the autonomous choices must been made intentionally, with deeply understanding, without controlling influences and voluntarily. People who need money to keep living donate the organ to people who need it to survive, and both of them get benefits from this method. In addition, if paying for them will result in more organs to solve the problem of organ shortages, then this is justified. There is no wait lists for kidney transplantation in Iran because selling one’s kidney for profit is legal. The Charity Association for the Support of Kidney Patients and the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases control the trade of organs with the support of the government. They supervise the matching and paying process (Wikipedia, 2013). Although trading organs is prohibited in most countries, there is a large black market for organs. In my opinion, trading organs is a method to benefits both donors and recipients. The result of trading demonstrates the greatest pleasure among them. To establish relative policy to regulate and supervise the trading and process of matching, test, and surgery helping people to have a legal way to make profit from trading. It is necessary to inform the related knowledge for both donors and recipients about the organ transplantation. The verification of donors in both physical and mental condition is also important to get the best consequences and avoid some other arguments.
Childress, J. F.,(1996). Ethics and the Allocation of Organs for Transplantation. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 6(4).10.1353. Retrieved December, 1996 from http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/kennedy_institute_of_ethics_journal/v006/6.4childress.html
Wikipedia (2013). Organ trade. Retrieved 25th March, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_trade
Applying the theory utilitarianism into trading organs sounds reasoning as it is allowed by personal autonomous choice and it also reach the greatest benefits for the people who need organ transplantation to survival. But we have to admit that there is no absolute right thing in the ethical world. The utilitarianism is more focus on the large group of benefits, not on individuals (Tadd, 1998). Trading organs solve the shortage of organs for transplantation, but the behaviours harm the donors’ health as the evidences showed the low health status of donors after the donation. And the low success rate of the recipients after organs transplantation needs to be considered the value of trading organs. For example, people can generally live with only one of two kidneys, but removing a kidney is a difficult, painful and dangerous process. Not only the surgery itself, it also remains the problem of post-operative infection (Koening, 2003). In addition, utilitarianism undermines the principle of justice. Selling organs will appeal to the socio-economically disadvantaged groups, they will be unfairly pressured to sell their organs exchanging of money. On the other hand, wealthy people would be able to access more readily to organs due to their financial situations.
Tadd, G. V., (1998).Ethics and values for care workers. Australia: