Summary of "Death's Waiting List"

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Kirsten Wade
4 February 2013
EH 102/105
Wilkins

Sally Satel’s “Death’s Waiting List” (387)
 In “Death’s Waiting List” written by Sally Satel, she states numerous reasons why the business of organ selling should be legalized. She believes that by offering some kind of “incentive” to donors, it would increase the number of organs donated. She also brings up many of the critics reasons for treating the body as if it was on the market, but she says they are simply just “outdated thinking.”   The National Organ Transplantation Act makes it illegal for any person to sell or receive a payment for their organ. When people are deceased, the decision whether to donate or throw out their organs falls upon their families. Satel tells her story about waiting for a year to receive a new kidney; therefore she understands the desperation that it causes. Right before her dialysis, an organ donor stepped up which relieved her from her worry. Critics believe that receiving compensation for kidneys would exploit the poor. However, the donors would receive education about their decisions, receive both medical and psychological screenings, and receive quality care post the surgery. She believes that it is not unfair to compensate the poor if it means enhancing their life quality. The Institute of Medicine issued a report titled “Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action.” The report recommended that only victims who die of cardiac arrest should receive donor eligibility. However, she thinks that the report should also have mentioned other initiatives for donors. Satel brings up the European practice of “presumed consent.” Citizens who become deceased are considered donors unless they sign an anti-donor card beforehand. Another initiative would be to recommend a regulated market. The donor would receive a sort of compensation or it could be given to his family in return for his organs after death. A poll uncovered that 59% of people favored the idea of incentives, while 53%...
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