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organ donation

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organ donation

Category: Essay

Subcategory: Environment

Level: Academic

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Organ Donation Should Be Legalized Because It Is Good For Humanities
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Organ donation is good for humanities
Organ donation brings about ethical issues that are not so easy to unveil as regards to what people claim in determination of what would happen to their bodies before and the aftermath of death (Margolis, 2009). This raises the questions such as is there any respect for human body in doing this? Will it be comfortable to stay with an organ from another family or how would people address the need of those people whose own organs have failed (Bernat, 2008)? Nonetheless, Organ donation has proved to be essential and successful procedure in today’s healthcare. It entails persons offering their organs for transplant (Margolis, 2009). In this context, the act of donating an organ to another person is considered as an element of humanity. Humanity is the quality or state of being humane- the ability to love, compassion, kindness, mercy and empathy (Margolis, 2009. The element of donating organs brings about important issues ranging from practical to ethical ones. Following this, this paper seeks to explore the idea that organ donation should be legalized because it is good for humanities.
According to Paola, Walker & Nixon, (2010) there are two types of organ donation known as living and deceased. For example, every year about 3,000 to 4,000 people in the United States die waiting for kidney (Cohen & Vella, 2013). If people were allowed to sell their extra kidneys freely so many lives would certainly be saved. However, it is on record that selling organs from donors who are alive is unlawful in every country apart from Iran (Hippen, 2008). It has demonstrated significant benefits to patients by extending life expectancy as well as improving the quality of life (Bernat, 2008). Bernat (2008) informs that the organs that are given out for donation are used to replace those that have failed to function. The practice of organ donation as provided by Abadie & Gay (2006) leads to a situation whereby the demand for human organs for donation becomes more than their availability resulting in an increase of the gap between supply and demand. According to Hinkley (2005) the above-mentioned situation has contributed to using other animals as sources of material for transplantation into humans.
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Organ donation should be legalized. Owing to the fact that organ sellers would be potentially uninformed does not mean that we are supposed to do away with the practice of organ donation altogether. The problem could easily be redressed by making potential sellers undergo counseling so that they are given all relevant information (Cohen & Vella, 2013). Additionally, if this were the reason to make organ donation illegal, then it would be the same reason for making it illegal to donate organs. This is because, both the donor and the recipient undergo surgery and therefore they are all exposed to same risks hence they face similar consequences (Margolis, 2009). Further, people should be given the freedom to take on risks if they want to, owing to the fact organ donation is no longer as dangerous as it was initial. Another advantage is that organ donation has the element of money exchanges and this should therefore make the venture no more worrisome. It should be taken into account that it is even more dangerous to illegalize organ donation since it encourages illegal organ harvesting and selling. On the other hand, it is important to note that consent to some action is only valid if there is no other reasonable alternative to the said action (Potts, 2007). This then justifies a situation of desperation to the extent of willing to donate an organ. For one to be willing to succumb to an extreme measure, it is conceived that the alternatives must be very bad (Cohen & Vella, 2013). This could for instance be starvation, homelessness or even death. Consequently, if a person’s situation is so dire leading them to resort to organ donation then the donating their organ is considered as the best alternative and illegalizing organ donation would be taking away such person’s best option. To this effect, Potts (2007) state that trying to bring exploitation to an end using prohibition, is as useless as working on ending slum dwelling by evicting the slum dwellers using bulldozers. This only makes things worse for the victims.
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As regards the issue of unfairness in organ donation, then all the treatments that only the rich have access to because of their economic ability would be unfair and therefore ought to be made illegal! This includes access to the qualified doctors and high-quality health care. Apart from this, it should be noted that even the poor are in some circumstances assisted to access this kind of health services, and instead of branding the issue as unfair, it is only reasonable that initiatives to ensure that all people access these services are developed. It is not justifiable that organ donation undermines the medical profession on the ground that it involves profit making. This is because, in the medical profession still, we have private practice that is based on profit making. This therefore infers that private practice in the medical profession should be banned. Further, the element of slippery slope is not just either. What should be done to mitigate the fear herein is to legalize organ donation and to seal loopholes that would lead to any human sacrificing their lives by donating their hearts for any reason. Rather, a prohibition of sorts of organ donations that would lead to loss of life should be made since medical profession is committed to saving lives.
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There is an issue with alcoholism and liver transplants, which brings up the need for understanding the fact that alcoholism is a hereditary disease (Chakravarty et al., 2012). In this case, the so-called self-induced disease is beyond the control of the alcoholic. Therefore, alcoholism ought to be treated like any other disease that is caused by foreign agents. There are other many diseases that people majorly contract due to acts of the patients themselves such as smoking that causes lung disease, over-eating that causes diabetes and contacting HIV as a result of engaging in unprotected sex (Hinkley, 2005). All these people are allowed to access treatment and therefore alcoholics should also be allowed to access necessary treatment.
Conditions for rebuttal
There exist objections to the practice of organ donation that have been partially mentioned above and they include; exploitation of the poor, unfairness, undermining the medical profession and branding the whole concept as a slippery slope. It is said that the people who are at a high risk of donating their organs are the very poor or individuals in extremely dire circumstances (Bernat, 2008). Consequently, it is more likely that such donors would either be too uninformed or too desperate to consider clearly the possible risks and consequences of such surgeries (Hinkley, 2005). This in turn implies presence of lack of informed consent in the transaction. Notice is taken that in most cases, it is thought that coercion in consenting is only done by making the disadvantaged party sign a document at a gun point yet desperation to the extent of resorting to selling one’s organ has the same significance as signing a document at gun point (Abadie & Gay, 2006). Therefore, this note brings about worries that if organ donation is legalized, some people will be coerced into donating their organs (Hinkley, 2005).
An implication of unfairness is demonstrated in the circumstances that the rich are allowed to have access to the luxury of buying a kidney a privilege that the poor have no capacity to enjoy (Bernat, 2008). The medicine profession is meant to save lives and has the element of saving lives as the sole/ major objective (Paola et al., 2010). Since the practice of organ donation enshrines the profit making idea, those who do not support organ donation term the whole issue as undermining the medical profession.
The antagonists to organ donation believe that if organ donation is legalized, people will eventually be selling all organs including those that can even lead to their death such as hearts (Abadie, & Gay, 2006). As regards the issue of alcoholics and liver transplants, Chakravarty, Lee, Jan, Chen & Po-Huang (2012) state that every year around 1,500 humans in the United States die while awaiting liver transplant. Since physicians working towards accomplishing their main goal of saving lives, it is reasonable that if there is a way that could be used to save lives, then everyone must be able to afford the service (Hinkley, 2005). It is important to note that livers are a non-renewable resource. Need for liver transplantation has been considered as a self-induced cause (Chakravarty et al., 2012) As such, liver failure due to alcoholism is taken as a self-inflicted disease. This has resulted to an assumption that alcoholics should not equally compete with others for liver transplantation.
The above discussion leaves us with the option of advocating for legalization of organ donation. This is backed up by the idea that humanity demands that we act kindly towards each other. We have seen that humane treatment of our friends and neighbors would go to the extent of sacrificing some of our valuables for the well-being of other humans. In essence, organ donation would be promoting the medical profession by ensuring that realization of the main profession’s objective of saving lives is achieved. To demonstrate commitment for this venture, xenotransplantation where possible is further recommended to minimize the huge difference between the demand for human organs and their shortage (Barber, Falvey, Hamilton, Collett & Rudge, 2006). Looking at the objections to legalizing organ transplantation above, it is clear that the reasons to support legalization of organ donation are reasonable enough to be adopted. Furthermore, legalizing organ donation would present an opportunity for people to practice humanity by being innovative in terms of developing more ways of saving lives. Indeed, it is human for one person to donate one of their organs and save the life of another person.
Abadie, A., & Gay, S. (2006). The impact of presumed consent legislation on cadaveric organ donation: a cross-country study. Journal of health economics, 25(4), 599-620.
Barber, K., Falvey, S., Hamilton, C., Collett, D., & Rudge, C. (2006). Potential for organ donation in the United Kingdom: audit of intensive care records. bmj, 332(7550), 1124-1127.
Bernat, J. L. (2008). The boundaries of organ donation after circulatory death. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(7), 669-671.
Chakravarty, K. D., Lee, W. C., Jan, Y. Y., Chen, Y. C., & Po-Huang, L. (2012). Liver Transplantation. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Pvt. Ltd.
Cohen, D. J., & Vella, J. P. (2013). NephSAP.
Hinkley, C. C. (2005). Moral conflicts of organ retrieval. Amsterdam [u.a.: Rodopi.
Hippen, B. E. (2008). Organ sales and moral travails: lessons from the living kidney vendor program in Iran. Cato Policy Analysis Series, (614).
Margolis, J. (2009). The arts and the definition of the human: Toward a philosophical anthropology. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press.
Paola, F. A., Walker, R., & Nixon, L. L. C. (2010). Medical ethics and humanities. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Potts, M. (2007). Truthfulness in transplantation: non-heart-beating organ donation. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 2(1), 17.

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