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Organ Donation: A Gift for Humanity or a Commodity of the Modern Market

Updated on May 30, 2011


Final Draft: English 204

Organ Donation: A Gift for Humanity or a Commodity of the

Modern Market


The shortage of organs as well as the constraint created in the health sector due to the earlier fact has resulted in the emergence of organ markets that sell organs to patients suffering from organ failure in exchange for monetary gain. Although these markets have been present for a long time, their existence hasn’t posed a serious problem until recently, as these markets take advantage of the poor and the low socio-economic levels that they live in, hence exploiting them and luring them to sell their organs for monetary gain. This research paper discusses the idea of organ trafficking as a form of organized crime and the reasons that derive this demand-driven market. Afterwards, we shall discuss in the second part of this research voluntary organ donation to be the best alternative to meet the increase in demand for organs. We shall commence by discussing the concept and history of organ donation, the religious views regarding it as well as argue for this concept, as a gift of living and charity, to finally come up with the conclusion that regulated voluntary organ donation is the best alternative to fight organ trafficking. And in the end, actions are presented to help regulate and standardize this act.


As the need for new organs arises, and under the shortage of organs on donors’ lists as well as the failure of the health sector to provide patients suffering from organ failure with their demands, black markets that trade and traffic organs have emerged to meet this growing demand. And thus, the emergence of such markets has transformed humans as well as their organs into commodities by which the rich and the influential exploit the needy and trick them into selling their organs in exchange for monetary gain that they may or may not gain. On the other side, in the past few decades, organ donation has made it possible to save thousands of lives suffering from organ failure, by the help of dedicated doctors, professionals, as well as scientists; this humanitarian mission has been accomplished. As a result, thousands of lives have been saved, and many patients today owe their existence to the endless efforts of those who strive to ensure that patients undergo the best treatments. Yet, the sad side of reality shows us that within this world which is ruled by money, power as well as connections, there are those in desperate need for organs who put this humanitarian mission and its goal in danger.

In the light of the discussed issue, we believe that voluntary organ donation is the best alternative or resolution to address the issue of organ shortage as well as the emergence of black markets. Yet, such acts must be regulated by the governments on national and international levels to ensure the resolution of issues such as organ markets. Governments in collaboration with healthcare institutes as well as doctors, professionals, and politicians must take the necessary actions to decrease the role and function of black markets as well as the selling of body organs on the streets.

Organ Trafficking: the facts and Causes

1-Definition of Organ Trafficking:

To begin our discussion, we shall commence by defining organ trafficking in order to avoid future confusion. The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism defines organ trafficking as the extraction, transportation, as well as the harboring of organs obtained from the living or the dead by force or abduction. As stated in the declaration, this act can take several forms or methods including abduction, fraud, deception, as well as the use of force or violence to transfer organs from a donor to a recipient in exchange for monetary gain. The previous declaration which was published in the Kidney International in 2008 states that the purpose behind organ trafficking is the exploitation of the poor where an organ is usually treated as a commodity, by which a supplier tries to meet the needs of a demander. And hence, the former declaration refers to the previous notion by using the term organ commercialism (pp. 854-859).

The idea of organ trafficking is far different from organ theft (Meyer, 2006). The difference lies in the core or essence. For instance, organ trafficking serves to the exploitation of living donors suffering from economical adversities and tricking them into becoming donors by promising them monetary gain. Meyer argues that desperate patients are willing to pay US $100,000 to 200,000$ to brokers and organ traffickers for a kidney in Europe. The writer also states that organ traffickers understand the desperation of the donors due to their economical problems, and under high pressure supplied by them the poor become victims of organ trafficking hoping to improve their standards of living.

2- Organs as a Commodity, the Law of Supply and Demand:

In this section we shall discuss how the organ markets function, the mechanism of supply and demand as well as the reasons that drive each side to engage in such acts. Starting with the supply’s side of the equation, we shall determine the reasons that drive the citizens living under low socio-economical levels to donate their organs.

Just like any business, though the notion might be misleading, organ trafficking is demand-driven (Myer, 2006). The main donors or suppliers of organs are those suffering from financial adversities. In his article, “Trafficking in Human Organs in Europe”, Meyer states that the reasons that drive the supplier’s side lie within the increase in rate of unemployment and living expenses, the decrease in the standard of living in some underdeveloped countries, as well as the limited number of legitimate job opportunities in which unskilled labor can uptake. These reasons in general drive the general public suffering from economical distresses to selling their organs to traffickers hoping for monetary compensation. On account, countries such as Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria as well as Russia seem to be on the top of the organ donors list in Europe. Whereas countries such as India, China, the Philippines, as well as underdeveloped African countries seem to be of the top suppliers of organs to those demanders around the world.

On the demand’s side, there are patients from all over the world who are in desperate need for organs due to organ failure. For instance, recent statistics show that there are about 40,000 people waiting for a kidney in Europe. Whereas the average waiting period in Europe is about 3 years this grace period is increasing due to the shortage of organs. The World Health Organization estimates the waiting period to increase to 10 years by 2010 (World Health Organization, 2004). Thus, statistically speaking, about 15% to 30% of those waiting would die while waiting which drives desperate patients to seek organs from organ traffickers. Meyer claims that Middle Easterns and prosperous Europeans are the major demanders for organs. Another reason that drives patients in desperate need for organs lies in the lack of legislations that regulate the act of transplantation in some underdeveloped countries. That fact makes organ trafficking and finding a matching organ donor easier for those with enough money as well as influence.

3- The Rich Exploit the Poor:

As a beginning, the shortage of organs has driven the rich to exploit the poor to an extent that the poor are viewed as assembly parts by the rich and donors rarely get any benefit from the sale of their organs. Jeremy Shearmur comments at the end of his article “The Real body Shop, Part2: Spare Parts”, by saying, “there is something distasteful about the 'gaze' of the rich person who looks on others as something like collections of alienable body parts” (Shearmur, 2008). For instance, living in a world dominated by money, wealth and trade; it was no shocker that the rich turned to exploiting the poor and offering them monetary compensation for their organs (Huebner, 2010). Huebner argues that “the domination of the free market” has lead desperate patients to seek out the poor and underprivileged harvesting their organs. The donors, as Huebner points out who are suffering from hard socio-economical pressures are usually refugees, debtors, homeless people who are lured by the promises set by organ traffickers. Yet, such operations lead to various complications on the donor’s side since the recipients are capable of seeking proper medical care during and after the operation whereas the donors aren’t capable of doing so. In this article, “The Selling of Body Parts Exploits the Poor”, Huebner asserts clearly that donors usually suffer from complications such as pain, weakness, emotional distress i.e. depression as well as the inability to work. Hence, organ trafficking usually benefits the recipients alone and exploits the poor resulting in severe setbacks to the donors.

In order to support our argument concerning organ trafficking and using the poor and the underprivileged, we shall refer to the case of organ theft in Brazil. For instance, the case brought to light by Nancy Schepher-Hughes shows that the underprivileged are victims of organ trafficking within hospitals as well. Hughes, an Anthropology professor at the University of California accounts for this case of organ theft. As the study states, Laudeceia Da Silva checked herself into a large public hospital to have an ovarian cyst extracted. Yet, Da Silva checked out of the hospital with a 17-inch incision and a missing kidney (Huebner 2010). When Da Silva raised questions to the State Medical Ethics, her case was dismissed and several excuses were made. Da Silva convinced that her kidney was given to a rich patient within the hospital comments on the issue by saying, “When rich people look at the poor people like us, all they can see is a bag of parts” (p. 1).

Now that we have discussed the idea of the rich exploiting the poor we will commence the next section by discussing organ trafficking as another form of organized crime as well as how organs have turned into commodities being sold openly in markets.

4- Another Form of Organized Crime:

Recent studies have noted that organ trafficking is a form of organized crime. Indeed, this notion is accurate since criminal operations such as organ trading can’t be conducted on such grand scales without detailed organization. Meyer (2006) argues that there are several parties involved in such criminal acts, each of which has diverse errands assigned to them (pp. 220-221). The parties form several links which all together form the supply chain for organ trafficking, the latter that aims to find donors and match them with recipients.

The first link begins with the recruiters whom Meyer refers to as brokers. A broker’s main goal is to target donors suffering from poverty and lure them into giving up their organs by insinuating monetary gain. Thus, the first contact between a donor and a recruiter may occur through the media, the internet, or even through personal meetings as brokers approach possible donors. According to Kidney International, in most cases of organ trafficking, it is the socioeconomic situation that pushes the poor to exchange a kidney for monetary compensation ranges between US$1000 to 5000$ (Kidney International, 2008, p1). In addition, several studies show that victims are also lured by brokers with fake promises of jobs in different countries. Once they set foot into a foreign land, they are forced to give up their organs in order to remain alive. We shall refer to a case published in 2010 by Albert Huebner that describes how such acts take place.

For instance, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapsing of its agricultural economy, as well as the suffering of various countries such as Moldova, black markets where organs are traded surfaced (Huebner, 2010). In the light of the discussed topic, and in his article “The Selling of Body Parts Exploits the Poor”, Huebner refers to the case of Vladimir, a victim of organ theft and trading. As the victim recollects on the encounter, he states that he was approached by a job recruiter known as Nina who promised him a job as a dry cleaner employee in Istanbul. Once in Istanbul, Vladimir was forced to give up one of his kidneys under the threat of gun. He was given 3,000$ as a compensation for his kidney and sent home. His Kidney on the other hand was arranged to be transplanted into an Israeli recipient who was supposed to fly to Istanbul with his doctor that night. Vladimir comments on the situation by stating, “If I had refused to go along with them, my body minus both kidneys and who knows what else could be floating somewhere in Bosporus State” (Huebner, 2010, p. 2)

The second link in the chain of organ trafficking as pointed out by Huebner is the transporter. By definition, the role of the transporter lies in transferring potential donors as well as their organs to and from the hospital where their owners rarely get any proper medical care. As on the recipient’s side, there is rarely need for transporters or medical professionals since clients usually come with their surgeons and doctors and organ transplantations usually occur under the supervision of professional private doctors (Meyer, 2006). In his article, Meyer doesn’t exclude the police and the local authorities from the chain. He states that a part of the local police forces is culprit in the phenomenon of organ trafficking as they ease the transportation of potential donors by the help of custom officers (pp 219-220). For example, Moldova is one of the most prominent countries for organ trafficking, yet as Meyer points out, that a significant amount of transplantations take place in Turkey which makes the issue of corruption a major problem.

Finally, since acts of organ trafficking require a great amount of funds, these activities are usually run by operatives that work underground and maintain indirect contact with the brokers, supplying the organization with enough funds to maintain the smooth transfer of organs obtained from donors to recipients (Meyer 2006). The task is usually organized and financed by activities such as money laundry which gives the brokers and the trafficker’s access to money and funds.

5-Commodities of the Modern Free-market:

Organs have become commodities exploited by the rich, and by which the donors fight hunger, unemployment, debts, and suffering caused by economical problems. According to The World Health Organization, 5 % to 10% of the 70,000 kidneys transplanted annually are obtained by trafficking. For instance, kidneys have become an equivalent to gold for both the poor and the rich patients in desperate for organ replacements (Huebner, 2010). Huebner gives this analogy as he describes the routes of organ trafficking. Hence, organs travel from the bodies of the underprivileged to those capable of paying great amounts of money for these organs. The researchers compares these routes to the old routes taken by colonists; South to North, East to West, as well from poor desperate people to affluent patients. Therefore, organ trafficking knows no racial boundaries and hence organs have become commodities sold in a market that responds to the law of supply and demand (Meyer, 2006).

As a wrap up, organ trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon by which rich patients take advantage of the poor and lure them into giving up their organs. There is no doubt that with the surfacing of black markets that organs have turned into commodities exchanged between recipients and traffickers who victimize people suffering from severe economical adversities. Yet, this problem and form of exploitation can’t remain without a solution. And hence we propose voluntary organ donation as the best alternative to address and tackle such an imposing issue.

Now that we have discussed the dangers of organ trafficking as a form of exploitation, we shall commence by discussing how voluntary organ donation can help diminish the role of black markets by decreasing the shortage in organs in part two of this research paper.

Voluntary Organ Donation, the resolution

1-Definition and History of Organ Donation:

The concept of organ donation and transplantation is not new to mankind. Hence, humans have a relatively long history with these concepts. For instance, a medieval painting by Fernando Del Rincon shows two saints, Cosmas and Damian succeeding in replacing a gangrenous leg of a church member with a leg obtained from an Ethiopian slave who recently died. The painting which dates back to 300 AD shows that organ donation and transplantation might date back to that period. Yet, this issue has not turned into such a pressing matter until recently due to the shortage in donated organs, the increasing number of patients with failing organs which as a result enhanced the role of black markets and organ traffickers.

Therefore, organ donation is the act by which a person voluntarily grants another patient an organ to help him survive. In essence, this act can be divided into two categories: organs obtained from living subjects and cadaverous organ donation. The difference between the first category and the second is that the latter is obtained from dead patients.

2- The Need for Voluntary Organ Donation

Since organ markets emerged due to the shortage or unavailability of organs, increasing the national pool of donors would have a counter effect. In 2006 for instance, the number of patients on waiting lists suffering from organ failure was 95,000 in the US, whereas 6,300 patients died while waiting for organ transplants (Abouna, 2008). In addition to that, in his article, Organ Trafficking: Global Solutions for a Global Problem, Tazeen concludes that well-developed countries must expand the number of citizens volunteering to become present donors in order to limit if not eradicate the role of organ markets. Although what Tazeen refers to in his text are solutions to address the problem of kidneys shortage, his recommendations might be applied on a larger scale, hence address the global issue of organ trafficking and shortage of organs. In his article, Tazeen states that if the national donor lists were increased by promoting organ donation, then such acts will decrease if not eliminate the role of organ trafficking since it addresses the core of the problem. Tazeen also refers to the need for a new regulated and ethical system that addresses the needs of the healthcare system and organizes the acts of organ donation. In light of the discussed issue, he refers to the need for collaboration between the governments on international levels to maintain equality and fairness regarding the allocation of donated organs. He then sheds light on the upcoming role to be played by international health organizations such as World Health Organization as well as National Kidney Foundation which we will discuss later on in the project.

3-Islam and Voluntary Organ Donation:

One of the basic foundations of the Muslim faith is the concept of saving a life. In essence, Islam rewards those who save the lives of others from death. In reference to the topic at hand the Holy Quran refers to the act of saving human life by saying, “Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” (Al-Maida verse32). Thus, as stated clearly in the above verse taken from the Holy Quran, the Muslim faith values human life and hence rewards those who cherish and protect it. Hence based on that concept, several scholars argue for organ donation as an act of saving life and hence find it permissible.

Another reason for which several Muslim scholars argue in favor of voluntary organ donation is the imposing fact of necessity. Muslim scholars from various Muslim schools state that the Muslim faith is entwined with the concept of necessity at which Muslim verdicts might be resilient. It is in this legal maxim (necessities overrule prohibition) that several Muslim scholars say that organ donation is acceptable in the Muslim faith since it focuses on saving human life out of necessity. For instance, the decision and fatwa comes from the highest council of scholars in Riyadh and states that “It is permissible to transfer whole or part of organs from a deceased to another person, if the need for such a transplant is critical. Live organ donation is also allowed if the recipient is in urgent need of the organ” (Decision of the scholars in the Highest Council of Scholars in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). Hence, the key words in this declaration are the words critical and urgent which refer to necessity as well as the serious health condition of the patient. Similarly, the Council of Shariah (Muslim Law) in Great Britain posits that it supports voluntary organ donation as long as the act is given without monetary reward and it condemns the act of trafficking of organs. And hence, as the Muslim faith puts the human life above everything else, organ donation is permissible in Islam based on necessity as well as the importance of saving a human life.

4-Voluntary Organ Donation and Christianity:

The core of the Christian faith also lies in exhibiting compassion, and caring towards others. For instance, while addressing the Lords of the European Union Social Policy and Consumer Affairs sub-committees inquiry, the church of England states through its mission and public affair division that Christians carry the duty of helping heal others by utilizing their abilities, knowledge, understanding, as well as inspiration (Church of England, 2007). The statement reads, “The Christian tradition both affirms the God-given value of human body life, and the principle of putting the needs of others before one’s needs” as well as, “For Christians, acts of mercy are part of the self-sacrifice that God requires of us. [….] Giving oneself and one’s possessions voluntarily for the well being of others without compulsion is a Christian duty” (Church of England, 2007). Based on the previous argument, The Church of England, which is one of the largest churches in the United Kingdom, states that voluntary organ donation is part of the Christian faith. Thus, the church endorses this act as long as it is voluntary, out of free will and shows respect to the wishes of the family members as it is an act of putting other people’s needs in front of oneself. The church asserts that by stating, “Christian faith is a positive motivation for organ donation and a powerful incentive for many people to donate” (Church of England, 2007).

Similarly, the Catholic Church allows the donation of organs and refers to it as an act of mercy and offering the sick patients hope. For instance his holiness Pope John Paul II refers to this act by stating that organ donation is a noble gesture. In his reference, his holiness refers to this deed as a valid act of love then points out to the importance as well as the need of voluntary organ donation by saying “Here lies the nobility of a gesture which is a genuine act of love. There is a need to instill in people’s hearts a genuine and deep love that can find expression in the decision to become an organ donor” (Address to the participants in a Congress on Organ Transplants, 1991).

5-An Act of Mercy and Self-sacrifice

As for a start, voluntary organ donation is an act of mercy and self-sacrifice by which a person puts the needs of others before his own. It is also the best alternative for organ trafficking since it is capable of addressing the issue organ shortage (Tazeen, 2009). Furthermore, an article published by Medical Ethics (2010) shows that in the United States there are around 84,000 patients suffering from organ failure on waiting lists. The Pope John Paul II refers to this matter while addressing the participants of the “Society for Organ Sharing” by saying “man has found a way to give of himself, of his blood and of his body, so that others may continue to live”. Hence, if voluntary organ donation was performed on a national basis, such selfless acts might be able to address the issue of organ shortage and aid in saving thousands of lives.

For instance, in her article “Act of Mercy the Man Who Gave a Lifeline to a Stranger” which was published on, Catherine Scott describes the act of donating a kidney to a total stranger as the ultimate selfless act. Scott states that while there are around 2,500 kidney transplants yearly, about 3,000 patients die while waiting for a match,. The writer also asserts that although the numbers of living volunteers who are ready to give up a kidney to a total stranger might be low, which was 23 in 2009 and doubled to reach 40 in 2010, such numbers must not discourage people from donating their organs since such human acts are the ultimate gift of life as they save a person’s life (Scott, 2011).

In her article, Scott describes the situation in which Mark Moorhouse donated a kidney to a total stranger suffering from organ failure. Diana Warwick as a result, expressed her astonishment regarding volunteers who donate organs to total strangers. Warwick, Chair of the Human Tissue Authority Baroness, comments on the topic by saying, “I am in awe of the people who do this, it has to be one of the most profound selfless acts one can do for another human being, especially for a person you don’t even know” (Scott, 2011). And hence, since voluntary organ donation can save lives, such selfless acts must be encouraged.

6- Extending Your Hand Beyond Yourself:

For starters, voluntary organ donation is an act by which a healthy person extends his hand to aid a patient in adversity based on the virtue of compassion. It is thus an act that forgoes one’s own needs and puts others’ as priorities.

The doctrine of compassion is emphasized in all religions. Whether it was the core of the Muslim or Christian faith, compassion was emphasized in both religions. For instance, the theme is expressed in the Holy Quran as every single passage in the Holy Quran starts with the verse “In the name of Allah Who is Compassionate and Merciful”. Similarly, when it comes to the Christian faith compassion and mercy are a key item, "Finally, all of you, be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (Peter 3:8).

For instance, Francis (2011) records the inspiring story of Dave Porter. In his article, “Scottdale Man Gives up Hockey to Donate Kidney to Brother”, Francis shows how a 57 year-old younger brother gave up hockey to be at the side of his brother who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1973. Bipolar disorder, which is a psychiatric disorder, forced Edwin to take several medications and after 30 years of medication, Edwin’s kidneys were damaged and so Dave the only fit donor volunteered to give his brother a kidney to save his life. As Dave extended his hand to save his brother’s life he states, "I just can't watch my brother suffer. […] If I can prevent that and prevent him from dying, I'd do whatever I have to" (Francis 2011). As a sum up organ donation is an act of compassion and sacrifice; it is an act by which you extend your hand to a fellow human in time of adversity.

7-Kinship, Pressure on the Donors

Sure enough voluntary organ donation can save lives of those suffering from organ failure, yet many argue that such acts are accompanied with consequences. In her article, “Organs from Living Family Members Should Be Used as a Last Resort”, Hughes states that with the notion of the gift arises conflicts or problems between family members especially ones living among dysfunctional families. Hughes states that patients with terminal cases of organ failure might abuse the “kinship bonds to coerce others into donating” (Hughes, 2010). To support her argument, Hughes refers to the case of David Biro. Biro, suffering from Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria which is a rare blood disease, wasn’t close to his sister as both maintained a distant relationship, had to ask her for blood marrow donations. The patient describes their distant relationship by saying “I loved her in the distracted way you love a person whose external data are familiar but whose internal workings are a pleasant mystery ... [but] now I needed her” (Hughes 2010). Yet, after the operation, Biro claims that he didn’t thank his younger sister since doing so would cause various conflicts to arise since by now he owes her his life. As a result, organ donation from close relatives might agitate relationships between donor and recipients especially among members of dysfunctional families which is the conclusion that Hughes came up with.

8-Tyranny of the Gift:

Similarly, organ donation between family members might be hard on the relationship connecting the patients i.e. the recipient and the donor. During her observations, Hughes noticed the existence of cases in which donors who happens to be relatives interfere with the lives as well as decisions of the recipients (p. 1). In her article, Hughes refers to the recipient’s feeling of owing their family members for saving their lives. This feeling as shown in her study drives some recipients to approach anonymous organ donors rather than family members. Hughes supports this claim by referring to the case of an Israeli woman who preferred buying a kidney in south Africa rather than asking her family members. The woman states that such actions of donation make family members interfere in her life as well as her decisions, had she accepted an organ donation from a family member. The recipient accounts for the pressures you might undergo if the donor was a relative as accepting such gift might be accompanied by several high expectations. She affirms that by saying “To ask someone from inside your own family, it's too difficult. It's like you owe him your life, so it's always a big problem, always hanging like a weight on you” (Hughes 2010). As a conclusion, just like everything in life, the notion “gift” might carry several consequences as well as pressures on the donor’s side as well as the recipient.

9-A Time for Action:

In order to fight the role of organ markets, there has to be collaboration between the governments and the healthcare organizations within one country on one level. Later on, this collaboration must then be extended to include international healthcare organizations such as the World Health Organization among others. By doing so, effective legislations that fight organ trafficking on an international basis as well as laws that encourage and organize voluntary organ donation can be passed.

For instance, one of the efforts in this field was made by the Council of Europe. The Council has played an important role fighting against organ trafficking in Europe and strove to organize the act of organ donation by passing several documents and regulations such as the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1996). For instance, on the issue of organ allocation, the document in Chapter 2, Article3, states that organs should be distributed on patients on official and legal waiting lists. The convention also points out to the need for standardization of national regulations which will ensure equality in the allocation of donated organs (Meyer, 2006).

Another document that tackles the issue of organ trafficking as well as the rising need for regulating organ donation is the declaration of Istanbul (2008). The declaration of Istanbul on organ trafficking and transplant tourism addressed the need for accountability in the healthcare sector. It asserts the organ transplantation must ensure transparency when it comes to conducting such acts which are supposed to be supervised by the government. The declaration also refers to the need for imposing penalties and punishments to all parties that engage in organ trafficking whether it was through indirect aiding, encouraging, advertizing, or through direct conduct. In addition to that, the declaration addressed the role of media in advertizing for organ trafficking whether the acts were in writing or electronic form and came out with the need to monitor the role of the media to help decrease the role of organ markets. The Declaration also calls in for countries that have succeeded in implementing organ donation and allocation programs to share information as well as technology with other countries to help maintain justice as well as equality when it comes to organ allocation. It also proposed voluntary deceased organ donation to be the best alternative to fight organ trafficking. Yet, when it came to organ donation, the declaration urged countries succeeding in regulating such acts to share their information with the participants. The declaration also calls for the reimbursement of legal expenses incurred during the process of organ donation such as post hospitalization costs, as well as income which is lost during the process of donation (Kidney International, 2008).

As a sum up, a fair system must control the allocation of organs. And the government must step in to regulate such acts by passing on national and international legislations that regulate such acts as well as address the issue of allocation. The governments as proposed by the declaration of Istanbul must impose penalties on all parties participating in organ trafficking as well as monitor the role of media in such acts.


As a wrap up, we have tackled the subject of organ trafficking and concluded that voluntary organ donation is the best alternative to fight the growing role of the organ market created by the shortage of organs available on donor lists. We have discussed and analyzed the market of organ trafficking and came up with the conclusion that such markets are demand-driven. This fact calls out for action and the laying of a strategy that is effective in tackling this subject on an international basis as well as to ensure equality in the allocation of organs. Yet, this strategy can’t be completed unless the governmental sector collaborates with international organizations to help raise awareness regarding the issue of organ trafficking as well as shed light on the importance of voluntary organ donation as a method to tackle shortages in organs. The governments are also responsible for laying legislations that watch over the role of media. In essence, media can play a huge role in the battle against organ trafficking by addressing this issue to a wider audience and presenting it to the public as well as the younger generations. Hence, the government as well as the media can raise awareness and educate the public on such imposing global issues.

Also we have concluded with the need for a fair system that allocates organs on an equal basis on patients signed on official and legal waiting lists. Hence, if fair systems were found within one country, these systems must be adopted on an international level to eradicate any present loop holes in national legislations. As a sum up, we can affirm that voluntary organ donation is an act of mercy and compassion that goes along with several faiths and doctrines. If more of the public become voluntary donors whether when being alive or after death, the issue of organ shortage can be addressed more effectively, hence reducing the shortage in organs and as an ultimate result, reducing the role of organ markets as well as eradicating the phenomenon of exploitation of the poor.


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Tazeen, H. (2009). Organ Trafficking: Global Solutions for a Global Problem. In American Journal of Kidney Diseases - December 2009 (Vol. 54, Issue 6, Pages 1145-1157, DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.08.014)

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    • Didge profile image


      6 years ago from Southern England

      Nice hub, Uriel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yeah you better have gotten an A, I have never written any assignment as detailed and informative as this, mine ended up being political fighting the whole purpose of the assignment.

      The part that sparked my eyes was the black market or free market part. They say here in the states that there was a part of New Orleans where you would be heavily drugged and then find yourself in a dingy bathtub in a remote hotel with a note stating to call 911, you were missing your liver\kidney\gallbladder etc.

      I am an organ donator, though by the time I expire I fear they might not find any good and viable tid bits left.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Excellent Hub on a subject I'm interested in. You did a lot of research and put a great deal of effort in this Hub. I invite you to read mine on this subject.

    • meow48 profile image


      7 years ago from usa

      well, i hope you got an A plus. it was a very well written paper. great job. take care.

    • Uriel profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lebanon

      Well had an english research paper and decided to choose this topic since biology and medical issues are part of my natural inclination. I thought of going for genetical engineering and/or cloning, but that topic was already taken, so organ donation Vs organ trafficking was the alternative :D

    • meow48 profile image


      7 years ago from usa

      very informative hub. whatever made you choose this subject? thankyou for posting it. takd care

    • Sa`ge profile image


      7 years ago from Barefoot Island

      complete info, excellent report on this subject. good work here. thank you for the info. this is important to know.

    • Uriel profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lebanon

      thanks for stopping by and reading :D

    • sunitibahl9 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      great information


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