Commercialization of Organ Transplants
My Plan of Action
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Everyday people need organ transplants. Their ages vary from the very young to the very old. What an organ transplant does is it transfers a living tissue or organ to replace a failing organ in an injured or ill person so it restores their health or reduces disability. Organs that are transferred include the corneas, the heart valves, the liver, bone and cartilage, marrow, and skin. But, the organs that are transplanted the most are the kidneys, heart, lung, pancreas, and the small intestine which are transferred from a living donor or a deceased donor (“Organ Transplant”, 2010). Organ transplants first started in the 1930s, but the first successful human transplant occurred on December 23, 1954 (“Transplantation”, 2012). Consequentialist see a single individual helping as many as 50 patients by donating tissue and organs because it’s possible to transplant up to 25 different parts of the body as moral value (Shaw, 2014). And due to advanced technology contributing to the high success rates for organ transplants, there are now long lists of medically needy persons waiting for suitable transplant organs on something like a first-come, first-served basis.
However, like any other situation, there are challenges as is in the case of transplant medicine. Although organ transplants give the gift of life, ethical dilemmas and controversies in organ transplants is a major concern in politics, social, and religious areas. Individuals, advocacy groups, medical communities, and agencies are either in favor of the commercialization of organ transplants or they do not support the free market for transplant organs.
For example, one of the current organ public policies has an important law called the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 1968 (UAGA). It was adopted in all fifty states to grant individuals the right to decide before death whether they wished to donate their organs. Additionally, it clarifies the list of people who can make a donation decision on behalf of a person who has died (“Legislative”, 2010 – 2011).
Another piece that regulates the organ and tissue donation is the National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984 (NOTA). It was created to address the nation’s shortage of transplant organs and improve the organ matching and placement process, while outlawing the buying and selling of human organs in the United States (“Legislative”, 2010 – 2011). Luckily, this type of governmental control encourages individuals while doing so under certain ethical limits that don’t treat the body as property.
That leads us to society in general. Publically, those who argue that society may have a duty to preserve life and relieve human suffering; it’s not to be done so by any means of “pulling the plug” on near death patients. The general population would also agree that it’s unethical for society to adopt any sort of practices that would create injustices or would violate the rights of individuals. Unfortunately, permitting organs to be bought and sold increases all of the above.
In other words, society has a responsibility to ensure that every person (whether rich or poor) has equal access to medical transplant benefits. But if a free market in organs were to develop, I feel the ability to pay would determine who could afford to buy organs, while economic need would determine who would be motivated to sell their own organs for cash. Socially and economically, the very wealthy would end up buyers of the organs being sold by the very poor. Or the poor would never have an opportunity to receive an organ transplant. In my opinion, a market in organs would hence benefit the wealthy while putting pressures on the poor to endanger their own health.
Such an act like this causes nasty side effects and that’s a good reason why I do not support