Legalize the Sale of Human Organs
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Compensation for the donation of human organs should be legalized for medical use. Medical surgeons everywhere are calling the government to have them legalize the sale of organs for transplants; allowing people to sell their organs would help people by meeting their financial expenses, solve the lack of supply, save many lives, and get control of the black market. Compensation for donating bone marrow is legalized, so why not organs?
There has been a huge problem in the United States with the lack of organ sales. The waiting list in the United States for all organs was 113,143, with 91,015 waiting for kidneys (Schulman, Miriam.). There are many people’s lives at stake before they can find a suitable donor. Seventy-five people receive organ transplants each day on average, while nineteen people die each day waiting for transplants because of the shortage of available donor organs (The National Network of Organ Donors). Legalizing the compensation of organ donations would help the lack of supply by saving the lives of those who may not find a donor. For example, when Iran gave generous compensation to organ donors, it cleared the backlog on their waiting list. As our economy continues to shrink, there becomes less and less ways to make money, and a lot of people are left without jobs. The unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed people was at 12.0 million. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), and teenagers (23.5 percent) (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Here in the United States there are college students who take pictures of themselves in lingerie, and boys who take pictures in speedos to sell just to pay for college. If making money is getting so tough, why not let organs be legal to sell? Though the poor do have bad options, this policy takes away the one option they may think is best. It’s a win, win. People get money they need while saving lives. If it’s okay for someone to sell their body to bodily labor, then it should be okay for someone to sell their body. Tons of people put their life at risk every day, whether it’s their job or just for their own pleasure. Many things in life are risky, but everyone has their own risk level. “Mountaineering is an extremely high risk activity where people die every year. The RISKS are high. Traveling is a risk even to grandmother’s house… When traveling, we feel you have to judge for yourself based on your level of risk you are willing to take (Everestnews.com).” If we choose to risk our lives every day, then why isn’t it okay to choose to risk them for money?
Many will say that legalizing organs will lead to exploitation, and cause unfair advantages, but these things are already happening in the black market organ trades. A regulated market should be permitted so that the black market is at least reduced. Having a regulated market would stop patients from going to other countries to get transplants they can’t get in the United States. Patients who travel to foreign countries for organ transplants may return with more problems than they left with (Fiore, Kristina.). Many patients might go to China, India or Pakistan for a surgery; paying around one hundred thousand dollars or more for a kidney to gangs who harvest the organs. In Japan you can buy organs that were taken from dead Chinese prisoners. According to the World Health Organization about twenty percent of kidney transplants worldwide come from the black market.
Often doctors will harvest organ tissue from patients who have passed without any consent. A regulated market could help organize and prevent patients and doctors from having to perform these unfortunate acts. It is legal to get compensation for donating bone marrow, when the process can be just as rough as donating an organ. The biggest risk of this surgery is the anesthesia, which is used in all surgeries, and can have bad effects. Before you can donate you must get injections that will increase the number of stem cells in your blood. This medicine also has really bad side effects such as aches, nausea, bone pain, and extreme fatigue. These effects last up to two days or more. For the donation you will get a catheter in either your vein in your arm or neck. To recover from this can take up to two weeks or more, while the recovering time after you donate an organ is usually a minimum of six days. Both of these donations are no riskier than many routine operations, where no questions are ever raised. The donation of bone marrow is just as risky and time consuming as donating an organ, so it should be legal as well.
The people waiting for kidneys aren’t dying because of kidney failure; they’re dying because of our failure (Perry, Mark J.). People shouldn’t have to ask just their family or friends to donate them one of their organs, or die waiting until they can get one. Donating an organ can help the people that are in need, but that isn’t enough. The only way to really change the outcome and end all of the waiting lists is to make a legal market for organs, and end the ban on compensation. The human body must think if it’s really worth hundreds of people dying each year from an organ that many of people would have love to safely donate with compensation.