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Organ Selling: Right or Wrong? Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Mar 31st, 2022

Introduction

Health of people in a given economy is a very crucial ingredient of economic advancement. Thus, various nations have invested heavily in the health sector to ensure that every citizen has access to health facilities whenever need arises. It is the hope of every patient that when he or she visits a health institution, all their health problems will be solved there (Weitz, 2011). Patients want to get all medications that are prescribed to them. Most importantly, they want to get correct diagnosis and therefore facilitate the process of recovery.

Finding that one of their organs is not working properly or it has an irreversible problem, patients and all their close people pray that they can secure a transplant. In many instances, organs used for transplantation are secured from close relatives who offer to donate them. However, there are people who sell their organs to patients they sometimes do not know in order to own money. Consequently, there has been debate on whether organ selling is good or bad to the society.

Arguments against Organ Selling

Those who oppose organ selling have crucial arguments that they put forward. First, they agree that human beings have a moral obligation to save lives, and that is not questionable. Nobody should stand on the periphery and watch another person dying when there is something that can be done. However, morality does not demand that we go to extremes to save lives.

A person cannot kill him/herself just because there is a life that can be saved (Rothman S. & Rothman D., 2006). If it is about saving human lives, the organs should be given free. Life was given to us free of charge and should also be given to others free. Therefore, morality should not be used as an excuse to selling human organs. This is a wrong notion because we are talking about human life. To get more donors we should give them some money (Kotz, 2009).

Respect for humanity demands that human beings should not be sold or be used in a manner that will present them as commodities. People should not think about selling human organs under no circumstances. That is like looking at a fellow human being as a collection of organs which should be dismantled and sold.

If we allow selling human organs, we will end up with cases where people start hijacking others and killing them with the sole aim of getting organs for sale. Humans will start looking at selling organs as a means of achieving economic gain. Objectively, this argument is wrong. Even currently organ selling is still going on and people do not go out killing anybody just because they want their organs.

Notably, it is only the poor who might want to sell their organs because they are in dire need for money. Everybody, both the rich and the poor, knows the dangers involved with organ selling. If, for example, one kidney is removed and the other one fails, the donor will die.

However, the poor will risk because they need money that is paid for the organs (Rothman S. & Rothman D., 2006). Consequently, the rich will exploit them by not only paying them less, but also by indirectly compelling them to donate through financial offers (Kotz. 2009). Allowing selling organs will, therefore, mean that only people affording them can benefit while those who cannot afford are left to the mercy of God. As opposed to this argument, nobody will have time for hesitarions when they have a relative on the sick bed.

So far, we have been unable to control the organ trafficking that goes on in our society. Innocent people are drugged, killed and their organs taken to be sold in various places. On the same note, unsuspecting people have been lured into various places where they are murdered and their organs extracted (Cherry, 2005).

By allowing selling and buying organs, we will be indirectly encouraging violent crimes. People with ill motives will kill others to get their organs and sell them. This argument is also wrong because people still kill each other and do not sell their organs to anybody. Whether there is organ selling or not criminals will still murder people.

Arguments Supporting Sale of Organs

There are people who have come out in full support of the organ selling process. These people have fronted several reasons to defend their standings. The first argument is that there are several people who need organ transplants in order to survive. People in various health institutions suffer from damage to critical organs therefore putting their lives on the line.

Without any organs for transplantation, these patients will simply die. We, as human beings, cannot just sit and watch others die (Ezra, 2006). It is the moral duty of every person to save a life whenever he or she has the capability to do so. The defenders of selling organs consider it to be one of the ways of ensuring that this is achieved.

On the same note, the number of people who die due to lack of organs for transplant is increasing each day. Studies show that this is due to the low supply of organs. Restricting sale of organs will mean further curtailing supply of these organs, thus increasing the number of patients suffering and dying due to lack of organs for transplant (Cherry, 2005). According to the proponents of the organ selling, it is fair that selling of organs is allowed to increase supply of organs for transplant (Kotz. 2009).

Another argument given by proponents of organ selling is the cost of transplants in today’s hospitals. Arguably, only the rich can afford organ transplant because of the high cost of the organs whenever they are found. As supply of the organs continues reducing while demand is increasing, the price will continue going up.

This will mean that only a handful of patients will afford this type of medical care (Hinkley, 2005). As a result, we will be going against the government’s aim of ensuring that all people get access to affordable quality health care.

According to proponents of organ selling, the argument that organ selling will lead to exploitation of donors is not true. Poor people need to make money so that they can make ends meet. For example, give their children proper education which is a right of every child. But nobody can force a parent to do what he or she cannot afford and education requires money investment.

Moreover, doctors are qualified in examining a person and ensuring that by donating an organ, the donor’s life is not put into jeopardy (Ezra, 2006). It is unfair to deny the poor person an opportunity to make money which would improve not only personal, but also family living standards. Everybody has a right over his or her body provided that the right is not used to the disadvantage of others.

Similarly, there are no spare parts for human body organs. People are born with no extra organs to use in case one fails. In the ancient times, failure in functioning of a certain organ could lead to inevitable death (Kotz. 2009). Fortunately, advancement in medical field has made it possible to transplant organ, and which is more important, with a very high probability of success.

Banning organ transplant will be a big blow to medical research since all the efforts that have been put into researching about organ transplant will go to waste (Cherry, 2005). We cannot expect patients to get the organs from anywhere else since there are no spares put together in a certain place.

Advantages of Organ Selling

The first very important advantage of organ selling is that it helps in saving lives of people who would otherwise die due disorders in some organ functioning. In this way, we are able to at least extend lives of people who sometimes lose hope in live (Ezra, 2006). On the same note, there is a high possibility of good friendship ties coming out of the whole exercise.

When one person donates his or her organ to another who is in need, the recipients are usually very appreciative because of the favor done to them. As a result, they end up becoming good friends with the donors and their families. This enhances peace in the society.

Moreover, through selling organs the donors get financial aid. Sometimes, the donors of these organs live in extreme poverty and the only way they can support their living is through selling an organ. The money received is therefore invested in different economic activities and helps the family in affording a decent living (Kishore, 2005). We should not forget that every person’s happiness depends on the ability of the person to afford a decent life.

Similarly, there are people who allow their organs to be sold in case they die and the money is given to their families (Shroff, 2009). This particular category of people is very crucial because it helps in advancing medical research thus improving the quality of health care. Organ selling is a means of completing medical research on organ transplant. Otherwise, there could be no use of researching about possibility of organ transplant if there have not been supply of organs in the first place.

Disadvantages

To begin with, organ selling means that a healthy person who is the donor of the organ has to undergo a major surgery. Just as any process, surgeries are prone to errors. Consequently, people are not 100% sure that the donor will make it out of the surgery room alive (Weitz, 2011). There have been cases when donors passed on during surgeries. On the same note, it is not always true that the donor will lead a healthy life till he or she dies naturally. It is therefore a gamble that in future donors will not need the organs they have sold.

Second, organ selling leads to formation of illegal organ selling cartels. People come together to collect organs from donors and sell them to those who offer the highest price. In this way, organ selling will lose its main aim of alleviating human suffering. Instead, human being’s greed for money will be the guiding force (Hinkley, 2005). The poor and those who are not aware of the right way of selling their organs will always be exploited and left to suffer. Trafficking of organs is also a possibility and this can lead to murder.

Personal Opinion

The debate on whether selling of human organs should be legalized or not is not likely to end soon. However, we should know that as human beings, we have a moral duty of saving lives when we can possibly do so. Nevertheless, in our endeavors, to save lives, we should not put other lives in jeopardy.

Organ transplant has been very crucial in enhancing the quality of health care that people get. Without this medical breakthrough, most of organ failure patients would pass away under our watch (Shroff, 2009). We should not leave out the possibility of patients getting the assistance they need at the nick of time.

However, we know that unscrupulous middlemen will come into the industry and distort the very reason why we are advocating for organ selling. Therefore, measures should be put in place to regulate the process thus ensuring that trafficking and murder does not result from organ selling. All organs used for transplant must be traced back to the donors to ensure that the legal permission of the same was given.

Conclusion

We live in a world where technology is being improved each day. Medical practices will therefore be advancing to enhance the quality of life of people. We will not hinder medical advancement by holding on to traditions. The fact is that organs are required for transplant.

Unfortunately, the supply of the organs is very low compared to demand. This has led to several deaths which would have been prevented if organs for transplant were available. It is upon us to embrace technological advancements but take caution to mitigate the negative impacts that might result.

References

Cherry, M. J. (2005). Kidney for Sale by Owner: Human Organs, Transplantation, and the Market. Washington: Georgetown University press.

Ezra, O. (2006). Moral Dilemmas in Real Life: Current Issues in Applied Ethics. New York: Springer.

Hinkley, C. C. (2005). Moral Conflicts of Organ Retrieval: A Case for Constructive Pluralism. New York: Rodopi.

Kishore, R. R. (2005). Human Organs, Scarcities, and Sale: Morality Revisited. Journal of Medical Ethics, 31(6), 362-365.

Kotz, D. (2009). U.S. News & World Report. Web.

Rothman, S. M. & Rothman, D. J. (2006). The Hidden Cost of Organ Sale. American Journal of Transplantation, 6(7), 1524-1529.

Shroff, S. (2009). Legal and Ethical Aspects of Organ Donation and Transplantation. Indian Journal of Urology, 25(3), 348-355.

Weitz, R. (2011). The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: Critical Approach. Stanford: Cengage Learning.

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