Organ Sale

1015 Words5 Pages
The Market for Organs
Today, 120,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the United States. On average eighteen of these people die every day because they did not get the organ donation because of an absence of available organs for transplant. There is a large and increasing shortage of organs for transplant patients not only in America but in the whole world. Currently, the only organs that a transplant patient can legally receive are from cadavers or living relatives. This leaves patients with a very small chance of getting the help they need if they do not have a living relative with a compatible organ. If there were a free market for organs, it is believed by many experts that up to half of these patients would be able to get the transplants they need, at a lower medical cost (Adams, Barnett, Kaserman). The heightened medical costs, anguish of waiting, and thousands of needlessly lost lives could all be remedied by a free market for human organs.
The federal government prohibits the sale, as opposed to the donation, of human organs. Under the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA), it is a felony to give or receive compensation for them. Legalizing sales has been discussed in some circles, but proposals to let people sell their own organs as they see fit do not appear at the top of the list of most discussed issues, or anywhere close to the top (Jason). Recently, as the danger, rarity, and cost of organ transplants have gone down, the number of available organs has followed.
The National Organ Transplant act was enacted in 1984 as a free market for organs began to arise in America. Congress was concerned about the injustice that could arise from impoverished donors being pressured into selling their organs (Ci...

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...o rules out medical and religious ethics. Many people are not willing to donate an organ if they do not receive any personal gain to it. However, many more people would be willing to donate if in turn they could save the life of a family member.
Raja Mishra puts forward the idea of death row prisoners being able to donate an organ for a life sentence. This creates the argument that the race to meet the growing demand for organs is outweighing important moral values. Ethicists say this is a slippery slope and amounts to a de facto organ sale. But Mishra argues “it is a chance for murderers to give back exactly what they've taken: a life.” These valuable organs should not be allowed to needlessly go to waste in such a large shortage. The organs of these prisoners are valuable and could put a sizeable dent in the ever growing list of those needing organ donations.
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