Commercialization of Organ Transplants

Topics: Organ transplant, Ethics, Kidney Pages: 5 (1281 words) Published: October 28, 2014
Imagine that you are a member of an ethics committee listening to arguments for and against altering the way in which human organs are obtained for patients in need of transplants. A new policy to allow the sale of organs by consenting individuals to patients in need and to medical institutions has been proposed. Critics argue that permitting organs to be bought and sold is unethical. You have been asked to review the arguments for and against the commercialization of organ transplants and to construct a report with your suggested plan of action. Use the Internet or Strayer databases to search for arguments for and against the commercialization of organ transplants, and then apply the principles learned in Weeks 1-3 to formulate your report. 1.Briefly summarize the arguments for and against the commercialization of transplants that you found in your research.

There are approximately one million people in the United States that have been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys permanently fail to work. (John Hopkins Medicine, Heath Library). 73,000 people are on the waiting lists in hopes of receiving a kidney transplant. Many of those that are waiting will die before a kidney becomes available.

The subject of human organ transplantation has been a sensitive and emotionally charged topic for health care policy makers, legislators, donors and recipients for decades. Commercialization and ethical concerns including; morality barriers, loss of human dignity, incentivized donations, medical advances, organ shortages, property rights and preservation of life are a few of the arguments that are positioned for and against human organ transplantation.

This paper will present the position as a proponent for the commercialization of human organs for transplantation. Opponents to the commercialization of human organs for transplantation offer a sundry amount of arguments on their behalf. Four of those positions will follow with a brief summary.

A fundamental question from an ethical perspective that opponents have raised, is whether or not “A living human being has property rights over their own body and whether or not property rights are afforded to a human body following death?” (C.M.Thomas, 2001) The law is cloudy in so far as noting supreme statutes that proclaim human body parts as those of property. The generally accepted notion is one wherein most reasonably minded individuals and competent adults have a right to make their own choices about what they do with their own bodies, with absentia of extraordinary harm inflicted upon unbiased observers. With this in mind, people should be permitted to sell parts of their body, as offensive as it may appear to others, if they are so inclined. Commercialization; Human dignity, Incentivized donations and Exploitation of the poor

The fear and ethical concerns herein, are the apprehension of potential disproportions that could arise if destitute donors were “coerced into selling their organs” (citation) and the defiling of the human body after death (cadaveric donations).

The National Organ Transplant Act of 1884 (NOTA), expressly forbids and has made it a criminal act for “any person to knowingly acquire, receive or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration in human transplantation if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” (NOTA, 1984)

A crucial roadblock that affects the thousands of waiting recipients is the shortage of available organs. Donations from cadavers could greatly increase the availability of much needed organs.
Efforts in the United States to provide financial incentives as a means of increasing cadaveric organ donations have failed because of congressional intent that human organs not be placed in a commercial market. (NOTA, 1984)

Financial incentives to a donor while he or she is alive is a positive and progressive two fold resolution by helping to meet the supply and demand and...

References: Delmonico, Francis M, MD. “Financial Incentives for Organ Donation” Medscape,
Multispecialty Medscape (2004) Web
Kishore, R.R . (2005 June) VOL 31 Issue “6” J Med Ethics Journal of Medical Ethics 17 July
2004 Web
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