Organ Donation

Topics: Organ transplant, Ethics, Morality Pages: 5 (842 words) Published: June 1, 2014

Commercialization of Organ Transplants
Kristyn Shrader
Business Ethics

As a member of the ethics committee, I have been asked to review the arguments for and against the commercialization of organ transplants. This report will be review these arguments and construct my suggested plan of action. Before any research was done regarding this topic, it is known by many that there is a shortage of available organs and those that need these transplants usually have to be put on a waiting list. There is a lot of concern regarding how ethical it is to commercialize organs and if commercialization were to be legal, what development of laws and statues should be in effect for such a thing. This report will view both for and against commercialization of organs arguments and the various systems of consent to organ donation that have been approved by different authorities.

First I’d like to discuss the availability of organs and why those who are for commercialization of organ transplants. It is pretty well known that there are more people that need the transplants than there are those who donate their organs to these people in need. If it is believed that the donation of organs is a desirable social aim, then if altruism is insufficient to meet the need, there may be justification for compensating the family for donated organs. Otherwise, it may be possible to allow arrangements whereby a person is able to make a binding arrangement to donate their body after death, in return for some benefit during their lifetime. (Thomas. 2001) One argument argues that there are many more people needing organs than donors available and many healthy organs are buried or cremated and that it seems that this is a waste of resource that might be used to improve the life of others. Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions. This includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faith. (Mayo Clinic. 2014)

There are a lot of myths out there regarding organ donation. Some people believe that if you are an organ donor that medical professionals won’t work as hard to save your life if they know that you’re an organ donor, causing an argument against it. Another notable argument is that it’s said that these patients are for whom “life hangs in the balance” and that they are the desperately poor, whose organs now have monetary value, and who are vulnerable to exploitation in a growing industry known as “transplant tourism.” (Ireland. 2008)

After reviewing the arguments for and against the sale of organs for transplantation, my position if for the commercialization. Worldwide, about 66,000 kidney transplants are performed annually. By far, that’s too slow a rate to help an estimated 1 million people who have end-stage renal disease. (Ireland. 2008) With the right organizations to create an ethical way of commercializing organs, and the right organizations to ensure that everyone obeys these rules and regulations, we will be able to save more lives. We need to develop policy and legislation to keep pace with rapid technological developments.

Ethical relativists claim moral standards are determined by what a culture or society decides is right and wrong. In today’s society we have a split opinion when it comes to the moral standards and whether commercialization of organs for transplantations is right or wrong. If one decides to donate their organs for transplantations, they have made the moral decision to do so because it provides a positive outcome. I feel that if I can save someone’s life when I am no longer existent, then why not do so? This would be trying to show the moral standard from a more generally accepted view. Normative theory is a theory which seeks to describe statements about what is correct and incorrect, desirable or unwanted, just or unfair in society. In this case, the most desirable outcome is to help the...

References: Thomas. C.M. Commercialization of the Supply of Organs for Transplantation. Massey University. 2001.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Organ donation: Don 't let these myths confuse you. 1998-2014.
Ireland. C. Ethics, philosophers discuss selling of human organs. Harvard Gazette. February 14, 2008.
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