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There has been an argument on the issue of commercialization of organ transplants by individuals who are willing. A section of the society holds that this is not ethically right, while others say that this commercialization is ethical as long as an individual gives the consent to it.
This research focused on the view of the society and professionals in this field, and it has concluded that it is ethical to commercialize organ transplant as a way of helping those suffering from defective organs. Using the normative theory of Welfarism, this conclusion is focused on finding the best way of improving the welfare of the society.
Patients have negative impact on the society. If this move will help reduce their numbers without hurting anyone, then the move should be considered as appropriate.
Arguments for and Against the Commercialization of Transplants
The issue of commercialization of organ transplant has raised a lot of ethical concerns in the recent past. The controversy that has been raised is on whether or not it is ethically right for this operation to be commercialized. One may decide to donate or sell his or her organs when alive or upon his or her death.
Those who support this commercialization argue that when one dies, it would be ethical to take his or her organs and use it on another individual who needs them. According to Smith (2009), there are many patients who have died because of weak heart, ineffective lungs or kidneys and other sensitive body organs.
Patients who suffer from defective organs are always at risk of dying if measures are not taken to offer them adequate treatment. On the other hand, some people die of causes such as accidents or other illnesses.
It is ethical to have a program where those who die can donate their organs to people who are suffering from defective organs. However, a section of the society has considered this move to be morally unethical. They argue that this would encourage unnatural deaths among the people who have committed themselves to donate their sensitive body organs.
Others also argue that it would be inappropriate to extract these organs and transplant them to other people while the dead is not able to accept or reject such a move. They insist that one should donate organs such as kidney when they are still alive, and not when they die.
The Sale of Organs Should be Permitted
The sale of organs should be permitted as long as one is not coerced into the deal. The permission should be subject to specific conditions to ensure that ethics is highly maintained in the entire process. As Honneth (2004) says, an individual should always have the final say on whether or not his or her organ can be extracted upon his or her death.
There are people who believe that it is appropriate to extract the sensitive organs from them once they die, and donate it to those in need of it. However, others have a different opinion. Others feel that being buried without all their organs intact would be an incomplete burial.
Whichever perception one has towards this issue, it is important to respect it. The dissenting opinions from a section of the society should not form a basis for denying those willing to help the opportunity to do so. Once one dies, it is necessary to make use of these organs instead of burying them together with the body. It may help others who are in need.
As stated above, this should be based on a clear set of guidelines that must be followed by the concerned individuals. The donor of these organs should approve of this in an official writing.
This document should be kept until he or she dies. Such consents should always be confidential to ensure that these donors are not subjected to any form of criticism from members of the society who have a different feeling over this issue (William, 2014).
The donor should be over 18 years when making this consent, and there must be a clause that allows him or her to withdraw from this arrangement any time before his or her death.
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Lastly, it would be very unethical to facilitate the death of a donor through unnatural ways because the need for the organ cannot wait for the natural death to occur. This will be considered a criminal offence, and it may discourage others from accepting such deals.
Moral Defense and Principles for this Argument
The researcher believes that it is morally acceptable to commercialize organ transplant as long as the donor approves of the deal. It is a fact that one can survive on one kidney. If such an individual is willing to donate or sell the other kidney, this cannot be considered as being unethical.
The law allows for this, and therefore, it would be ethical to commercialize this process. It would make it easier for those who are willing to donate organs, and those willing to buy or receive these organs meet easily. The principle of mutual consent of the parties involved allows this to happen.
As long as coercion or any form of intimidation is not used in convincing the donor to give out the organ, this should be considered as an ethical move that is focused on helping people suffering from organ failures.
However, Brezina (2010) warns that it should not be acceptable to have an outlet where these organs are available for sale at any moment without the need of knowing the donor.
This is so because it may encourage unscrupulous individuals to start hunting for these organs by killing innocent people and taking away their organs. This may pose a serious threat to the members of the society. The organ should come straight from a willing donor, to a patient who needs the organ.
From the above discussion, it is concluded that commercialization of organ transplants should be acceptable as a way of improving health of some members of the society. Using the theory of Welfarism, this will help improve health of members of the society suffering from organ failures.
As long as approval from the donor is based on mutual consent other than coercion, the society should accept that this is one way of reducing the number of weak patients who cannot participate in the normal developmental activities in the country.
However, based on the varying beliefs in various communities, this idea may face serious oppositions. There is need to sensitize the society on this issue in order to change their negative perception towards organ transplant and convince them that it is purely done to improve the health conditions of those weak or sick.
Brezina, C. (2010). Organ donation: Risks, rewards, and research. New York: Rosen Publishers.
Honneth, A. (2004). Morality and recognition. Oxford: Polity.
Smith, J. D. (2009). Normative theory and business ethics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
William H. (2014). Business ethics (8th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning