Commercialization of Organ Transplants


Commercialization of Organ Transplants

















Commercialization of Organ Transplants

  1. In the wake of the current demand for organs needed for transplantations, debate has ranged whether the organs should be obtained commercially. The growing need of the organs has been evened out by the number of willing donors leading to the rise of illegal practices. The proposed policy therefore allows purchasing of organs from donors. Hofmann (2011) states that supporters argue that regulated trade of organs differs from the illegal trade in that the treatment standards are ensured. They also view it as a way in which the organs can be distributed equally. He continues by explaining that pricing the organs on an average annual income level will also make it a striking alternative for everyone and this will no longer limit only the poorest people to act as donors.

The proponents of the argument hold the opinion that regulation will smooth out the tensions between family members with expectations of a donation by a relative (Hofmann, 2011). The supporters also argue that since organs are accepted from anonymous donors, it is an indication that people donate organs not only on family-related or social grounds. Thus, the argument is that by accepting other incentives, such as social and altruistic motives, financial incentives must also be accepted. However those against feel that introduction of payment could lead to donors feeling like they are compelled to do it because of their financial status. The opponents argue that is unethical to allow a market of human body parts since it undermines the inherent dignity of the person and his/her innate and immeasurable worth (Hofmann, 2011).

  1. In my opinion, I believe that the policy of regulating the sale of human organs should not be passed. The moment commercialization of organs is allowed, moral status and self-determination in humans will be abused. It will get to a point where it is hard to determine the amount of body parts that one can sell. Reasons such as the rise of insecurity as people are kidnapped and their body parts stolen for sale are solid enough to oppose commercialization. Other reasons include discouragement of altruistic donation thereby limiting access to organs for those who cannot afford to buy. Once people learn that it is possible to sell and make a profit out of their organs, thy will no longer be willing to donate freely. The commercialization of organs could also lead to transmission of diseases such as the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Trading organs could also lead to the exploitation of the poor since the rich people would target them as a source of organs whenever transplantation is needed. This in turn could lead to the circulation of unhealthy organs obtained from the poor.

It will also bring about unfairness and cheating in the sense that no amount of money is equivalent to the sale of a human body part. Moreover, selling of organs is an unethical issue since it lowers the dignity of a person. It is a cause of social harm as it encourages the view that co modifies a person and his/her biological parts rather than respecting him/her as an integral whole being. The reasons above are why I stand against the practice of commercializing human organs. My moral stand on the argument is that human bodies should be treated with utmost respect and not viewed as a way of making money through the sale of organs. The view that body parts are a source wealth for some people especially the poor goes against the expected moral stand guarding human beings. It may be claimed that since the sellers of organs are likely to be poor and socially exploited they are in fact being coerced into their decision by their poverty and by their social exploitation.

  1. A person should be held on a high opinion with regard to being a whole person. Dignity and morality should be upheld amongst humans and therefore no body parts should be sold for any reason whatsoever. Regulation of the trade of organs therefore undermines any form of respect to the human body. The moral principle related to this is the respect for autonomy that requires self-determination making though out choices. Every human is entitled to make his/her own choice in terms of organ donations. This should not be influenced by the monetary value being awarded thereafter. Every person should reflect on how morally offended one would become if other people tried to impose choices upon us with which we disagree. Perhaps this would make us realize how important the principle of respect is for autonomy
  2. The best normative theory that fits the judgment is the utilitarian. Shafer-Landau (2012) describes utilitarianism as a normative theory that takes into consideration the right and wrong exclusively on the results of choosing one action over another. The rightness of an act is determined by how much pleasure and how little pain it generates for everyone affected by it. Utilitarianism is a general normative theory that advocates for what is desirable or what conduct is morally right. Utilitarianism is very helpful in devising public policies. This is because it involves an objective assessment of everyone’s interest and the unbiased option to exploit good results for all affected people. Therefore, the decision that commercialization of organs should not be allowed caters for the interests of the society. The wealthy will not be in a position to turn to the third world countries to exploit them off their organs whenever need arises.









Hofmann, B. M. (January 01, 2011). Commercialization of organs. Tidsskrift for Den Norske Lægeforening : Tidsskrift for Praktisk Medicin, Ny Række, 131, 22, 2230-1.

Shafer-Landau, R. (2012). Ethical Theory: An Anthology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

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