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The Price is Right

In the world of medicine there has been many new discoveries and innovations. Yet, it seems like the government is focusing on the wrong problems. One major problem deals with organ donations, and there is always a recurring question; should the family of the donor be compensated? Each patient unfortunately becomes an insignificant statistic joining the lines of hopeless patients who wait in line on the organ transplant list. The scarcity of transplant organs in the United States is accredited to many reasons: the unwillingness of families to approve donation after the donors death, even if the patient has wished to do so; religious objections; disinclination of medical personnel to approach families after the death; and the crookedness of the medical system. The need for organs far exceeds the number of donated organs, the dilemma becomes apparent: Should Organ Donors &/or Their Families Be Financially Compensated?

For those who lack healthy organs, organ donations can save their life. Although there’s a tight spot, there is a shortage of much needed organs; the Mayo Clinic notes, “More than 101,000 people are waiting today for transplant surgeries.” The clinic goes on to state that while daily, 77 people receive organ transplants, nineteen die waiting for a transplant. Those waiting for transplants could likely be saved with a larger pool for organ donation. Many proposals have arisen to increase the number of organ donors in the United States, ranging from presumed consent to financial incentives for organ donation. The latter, financial incentives, is a common suggestion drawing much controversy. While some assert that financial incentives could save lives, others argue that paying for organs will erode altruism and will ca...

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...rsial Bioethical Issues”, 11th ed.,

Should There Be a Market In Body Parts?

YES: J. Radcliffe-Richards, et al., from “The Case for Allowing Kidney Sales,” The Lancet (June 27, 1998)

NO: David J. Rothman, from “The International Organ Traffic,” The New York Review of Books (March 26, 1998)

“Death and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 15 May 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/deaths.htm

Grady, Denise and Meier, Barry. “A Transplant that is Raising Many Questions.” New York Times. 22 June 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/business/23liver.html

“Transplants in the U.S. by State.” Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/latestData/rptData.asp

United Network for Organ Sharing. http://unos.org

Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com

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