Organ Donation Essay

Topics: Human anatomy, Kidney, Organ transplant Pages: 5 (1508 words) Published: April 27, 2015
The purpose of this essay is to further reinstate the claim that financial incentives should not be permitted in order to encourage organ donation. Research mainly consisted of searching through UOW databases, including summon. As financial incentives are only legalised in Iran proper statistical based evidence was difficult to come across, although what was found was evaluated and analysed. There are three main arguments of this essay: exploitation of the poor, loss of altruistic donors leading to the commodification of the human body and autonomy. The research conducted indicated that providing financial incentives has many more disadvantages than advantages. Based on these findings, financial incentives for organ donation should not be implemented nor considered. The demand for organs for transplantation greatly exceeds the supply. As the number of individuals who are in need of a transplantation grows the less likely it becomes that they will receive the gift of an organ. The procedure of a transplant has many risks and can be quite costly, which is why there are very few volunteer donors. Currently, to combat the lack of donors, the introduction of financial incentives for organ donors is being considered. These financial incentives may very well increase donation, although they could have dire consequences. Financial incentives can include tax benefits, free health insurance, money in hand and any other types of material gain given to the donor. With all of this in mind, the introduction of financial incentives for organ donation should not be considered any further. Financial compensation for organ donation will bring about the exploitation of the financially vulnerable, the human body will be turned into a commodity and there will be a decline in altruistic donors. Although it can be argued that we should have the right over our own bodies, individuals cannot grant proper consent for the operation with the enticement of financial incentives clouding their judgement. The introduction of financial incentives for organ donation will see individuals who are vulnerable, uneducated and in need of financial gain be exploited. Individuals who are compelled to donate an organ for a financial reward are likely to be desperate and poverty-stricken leading them to be exploited for the benefit of individuals with expendable money. Adair & Wigmore (2011, p. 191) recognise that in a society where compensation was provided, the demographic of organ donors would be living under the poverty line and in need of money. Harvey (1990, p. 117) uses Evans’ (1989) findings that organs are being sold to a recipient for an average of US $39,000, whereas the donor is only being rewarded around US $3,500. This indeed constitutes as exploitation of the financially vulnerable. There have been many devastating consequences in countries where the sale of organs takes place. In Pakistan, many individuals have sold their kidneys to liberate themselves from slavery, but have found themselves back in debt when their compensation was insufficient (Adair & Wigmore 2011, p. 191). These individuals were abused and exploited by what seemed, through their eyes, to be a flawless system. Introducing financial incentives for organ donation may lead to poor and desperate individuals feeling compelled to undergo the operation and take the risks, contrary to their better judgement. This would lead to these individuals being exploited because of their financial situation. Furthermore, Mahdanian (2008, p. 120) found that in Iran where organ sales are legal, and men have authority over women, women are forced by their husbands to sell their kidneys to pay for their families essential needs. A market where organ donation was compensated may rely on this exploitation alone to exist. There is no way to create a market in human organs where exploitation is non-existent; taking advantage of individuals who are in need of financial gain is ethically incorrect....
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