Over the years, man has experienced many challenges and changes that affect their lives both negatively and positively. Evolution in science and technology has enhanced the growth of medicinal practices. Foremost, it has made it easier for a man to transplant human organs to save lives. The first ever-transplanted organ was the heart. Over time, other organs such as the kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas, brain, and intestines have become transplanted. Transplantation has increased life expectancy and improved the quality of life. Human organs can get acquired through trade, sale or donation.
Organ transplantation is a medical procedure that must be performed with keenness, as it is a dangerous process. The first challenge is the loss of life. For an organ to be transplanted, the donor has to be compatible with the receiver. In case of a kidney transplant, the recipient body may reject the organ leading to death, and in other cases, he or she may become infected. If this happens, the donor loses the kidney, and in severe cases, they both die.
Over the past, few years there have been many people trading the human organs in the black market according to the World Health Organization. This exploitative organ trafficking can be stopped by banning direct sales and by limiting sales to certain places so that residents or citizens of one particular area can sell or receive organs at a specific time. There should be the creation of one body that will oversee the purchase and sale of body organs so that the organs can reach all in need.
There has been an increase in the trafficking of human organs. Crime rates have also increased as criminals engage in kidnappings. These kidnappings end up in people getting killed so that their organs get harvested for sale on the black market. These crimes are more prevalent in developing countries but have also been reported in the U.S.A. Deception may also be involved. Poverty also plays a role. The donors are promised riches if they donate their organs. Unfortunately, some of them are not paid or compensated. This is because of the intermediaries pocket if not all, most of the profits. A patient may have his organs removed without his consent or even knowledge. The government in all countries cannot overlook this matter, as there isan increased growth of illegal transplantations. Some United States government programs such as follow up care, immunosuppressive medications, and insurance reimbursement have led to the ramification of the process.
To solve this problem, the donor should give consent by signing a consensual donor document. The doctors before donation of the organ should explain the process of transplantation and the risks involved. The report should contain the compensation terms and price, and the post-operation care. There should not be any commencement, forgery or tricks affected to have the donor sign the document. Once the donor understands the process, he or she should sign the document willing in the presence of a third party.
The other problem is the existence of a discrepancy between the demand and supply of the organs. There are so many people on the waiting list to receive the organs. Unfortunately, most of these recipients die before the organ becomes available. There is a shortage of suitable organs for transplantation in most countries. To overcome this, states should have in place formal systems that determine the organ donor, and the order in which to receive the organs.
The inadequacy of organ supply has made it easier for others to take advantage of the needy in the society. There is also the challenge of the quack surgeon. This field requires specialization because it involves a complicated process, however, some people fake that they are specialists and end up killing people for these body organs. For money gains, people hike organ prices due to the increase in demand of the organs.
Great success in the development of organ transplants has increased the need to save human lives. Typically, at least 79 people in a day undergo transplantation. Unfortunately, due to the deficit of supply to demand, an estimated 22 patients die every day while waiting for an organ. Donors can be alive or deceased. Some surgeons prefer after brain death donations to donation after circulatory death allografts since the patients that use the latter have lower chances of graft survival due to biliary complications. Nowadays, the surgeons recommend for the donors to be living because it is very safe for the donors to recover fully and get back to their normal health after the operation However due to the deficit in the supply of suitable organs to the number of people on the waiting list, any organ gets considered.
Statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services indicate that at most 350000 Americans suffer from end-stage renal disease leading to organ failure. As a result, a kidney transparent is the only viable method of treatment as no medicine can suppress the condition. The statistics also indicate that in 2000, nearly 3000 Americans died due to kidney complications as they waited for a kidney transplant. Globally, the number of deaths that occur per year is 50000. (Vagefi, Mark Mann, 1011-1). Finding a compatible donor is usually a challenge since even the family members are at times incompatible, the waiting list is long and because the patient relies on the organs from individuals who die of old age or from accidents. The waiting list at times is so long, for example in 2006, there were over 60,000 people in the U.S waiting for a cadaverous kidney case.
Many people acquire attachment to transplant programs as they wait for people to die so that they can get an organ. To purchase the organ, the patient sources it from the black market, and the organ is at times, not admissible in the medical field due to its poor condition. To prevent this, some governments in different countries in the world use approaches such as the opt-out approach or advertisements that encourage people to donate. (James Stacey) Using such programs curbs deaths that would occur due to the availability of organs. Furthermore, the government gets tasked with the responsibility of ensuring organ transplants are reliable.
The United States government, for example, established the National Organ Transplant Act in 1984 to ensure that the nations organ needs get met and to promote the replacement procedure and organ compatibility. The act further enhanced the creation of the Transplantation Network and Organ Procurement (OPTN) that files compatible patients and donors. This law gave a mandate that the system management should get headed by a private nonprofit organization with partnership from the government. Also, the trade of human organs would be carried out in a way that all parties got treated appropriately and fairly. This means that the donor would receive the organ as per demand and not by his or her economic status. As such, the system would help reduce deficiency of the suitable organs and better the transplantation process. Monitoring of the process by the government would ensure cost-effectiveness, transparency, and accountability by all parties involved.
Introduction of a system that legalizes the sale of organs would expand the efficacy and legitimacy of the transplantation process. A person would donate or sell the organs to transplant centers, therefore, avoiding the unsanitary conditions of the black market. Fleecing of donors would cease, and they would acquire complete compensation for their organs. The organ prices would also be regulated relatively. Overall, it would guarantee active compensation for both donor and recipient. With such systems in place, the likelihood of people going to black markets will reduce. There will be an increase in the number of donors thus decreasing organ deficit.
In some countries like Iran, the trade of organs has been regulated favorably. The nation buys the organs from the donor and sells them to the patients at a reasonable price. Since 1988, the state has a legal market for kidneys. The donors at times may also receive compensation from the hospital or charitable organizations. Because of the government participation, the waiting time for organs has reduced. The donors also receive free health coverage for a year. Also, the state demands that the recipient cover the cost of the transplant operation and organ purchase.
Currently, the practice of purchasing organs in some countries is unauthorized and so no guarantees and agreements. Both the donor and the recipient are at risk and have no one to turn to in case of anything going wrong. So, everybody's positions on ethical matters must get re-evaluated. The trade of human organs will spare many lives if regulated and legalized in those countries. (Mark Cherry, pg. 59) Advocates for the creation of organ markets so that they can increase the availability of organs.
The rise in expertise and increase in awareness will come about if legislation and guidelines are laid down in regards to sales, trade, and donations of organs. Employment will be evident because institutions that will be set up will require a workforce. There will be a flow of knowledge through different training institutes. Mortality rate due to human organs trafficking and high waiting time gets controlled.
As human beings, we are morally bounded to give back to our society. Everyone should think about this issue as sales, trade, and donations of human organs are very important. Legalizing the deal will help in saving lives and will assist in making the society a better and safer place to live.
Cherry, Mark J. Kidney for Sale by Owner: Human Organs, Transplantation, and the Market. Georgetown University Press, 2016.
Manara, A., Murphy, P., & O'Callaghan, G. (2012). Donation after circulatory death. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 108, I108-I121. doi:10.1093/bja/aer357
"Organ Trafficking and Transplantation Pose New Challenges." World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 4 Mar. 2011, HYPERLINK "http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/9/feature0904/en/" www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/82/9/feature0904/en/.
Taylor, James Stacey. Stakes and Kidneys: Why Markets in Human Body Parts Are Morally Imperative. Ash gate, 2006.
"Psst, Wanna Buy a Kidney?" The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 16 Nov. 2006, HYPERLINK "http://www.economist.com/leaders/2006/11/16/psst-wanna-buy-a-kidney" www.economist.com/leaders/2006/11/16/psst-wanna-buy-a-kidney.
Vagefi, Parsia A., and James F. Mark Mann. "Liver transplantation: it's all about location, location, location: in reply to Lee and colleagues." Journal of the American College of Surgeons 219 5 (2014): 1100-1.
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