Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Should there be an organ market?

In this essay called "Payment for donor kidney: Pros/cons" by EA Friedman and Al Friedman, talks about potentially selling organs.The argument about whether there should be an organ market has been going back and forth for many years. People are still doing illegal organ transplant around the world like India, China, Turkey, and Russia so how come we can not have an organ market? What is stopping us from going further? For this blog I will be talking mainly about the kidney organ. Considering you have two kidneys, you are able to give away one of your kidneys and still be functional. In 2005, 65,000 people were waiting for a kidney from deceased donor in order to survive. About 3000 of the people on the wait list will die yearly just waiting for the kidney. Each day 74 people receive an organ transplant but about 17 people die each day because they could not receive a transplant. So why isn't there an organ market?

What's stopping us?

 The Medical associations consider that an organ transaction is "morally and ethically irresponsible" and "inhumane and unacceptable". Pope John Paul II said that "buying and selling an organ violates the dignity of the human person". The National Organ Transplant Act states that "it shall be unlawful" and punishment for doing illegal transplant can face up to $50,000 and or 5 years in prison.

What is the view now?

 Over the years, there are more and more people favoring for kidney sales. Everyone has a choice to engage in risky behaviors such as sky diving, military services, and smoking cigarettes, so what is the difference? Also how is it worse that selling a person's egg and sperm is legal compare to an organ market? A sperm and egg will create an entirely new human being, is that the same as human trafficking? If the government steps in and introduce a system that can manage the sales of kidney appropriately, there will be less death from end stage renal diseases. By having an organ market, it will eliminate black markets.What do you think? Should we have an organ market?

References:

EA Friedman and AL Friedman. (2006). Payment for donor kidney: Pros/cons


10 comments:

  1. Nice blog. As i was reading this i was remembering my health care ethics last year with Dr. Ho. But this topic is still a little murky for me. I do not know how comfortable I feel about having an organ market.

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  2. First thing I noticed were your pictures. I love them! Your blog of course is very engaging. Its true if we can sell our eggs and sperm why can't we sell our organs? As already mentioned, there are a lot of religious views as well as cultural. Maybe certain organs like the kidney or maybe parts of your liver can be sold since you can survive with one kidney and your liver can regenerate. Like Karen said its still on the fence but if people are dying every day water for an organ and selling them can help them....I guess it can have potential.

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  3. I am completely against selling organs because it limits organ transplant to only a specific class of society; in other words, just like a lamborghini could not be afford, except by those in the top 1%, buying organs will eventually end up the same way. It is true that this is against the basic meanings of capitalism and economic freedom, but as a society that aims to benefit future generations from our inventions and discoveries, allowing organ sale will harm our children and will begin to erode medicine's "equal treatment." I like the way you put your blog together, well done!!

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  4. Jack, this is one of your best posts, yet. I really find this topic to be quite compelling. I believe the controversy lies in the possible privatization of human organs: treating human bodies as a commodity rather than morally significant and autonomous entities. Yes, with a legal federally-regulated organ market we can abolish the black market and reduce illegal organ harvesting, but if one considers the degree of coercion and exploitation in a world of profit and media persuasion, then it may have more negative effects than positive ones. Paternalism is meant to protect those who cannot or do not take into consideration of his or her own long-term preferences, and I think the decision to sell your own organ should not be made by those who can be easily exploited: children, mentally-ill, poor, ill-informed, etc. BTW, nice selection of images.

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  5. I am still very, very uneasy about the idea of having an organ market. Call me old fashioned but i think that there is something inherently wrong with organ markets, and it would be a bit disturbing if an organ market would be considered a norm.

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