Illegal Organ Sales
In 2010 the WHO estimated that 107,000 organ sales, both legal and illegal took place. They estimate that two thirds of these were transplants of Kidneys and 10% of those were illegal.
The organization Organ Watch though, has different figures. They estimate that up to 20,000 illegal operations take place annually.
The “capital” for this illegal trade is considered to be the Republic of Kosovo. The business is supposed to have started during the war when organs were removed from dead or captured Serbs, for transplanting to wealthy customers. The trade was centered in Pristina and having flourished during the war continued afterwards.
Good or Bad?
Now many people may have mixed feelings as to whether or not this illegal trade is good or not. Obviously, if a member of your family has had their life saved by such an act, then you probably see no harm in it, especially if the organ was given willingly. Also too, if you had a family member whose life improved by the money they received for their organ, you may also agree with the act, especially knowing that it probably saved some ones life.
To many though, it may seem a gruesome unethical business that could ultimately result in the early demise of the donor.
What ever your opinion, I think that you must agree that these kind of operations do save lives and that there are perhaps too few organs available for legal transplants. That is why many Hospitals and health organizations request people should complete and carry an “Organ Donor” card, which would immediately bring to the physician’s attention that organs were available for use on your misfortunate death. Although your life may be sadly missed by friends and family, they may seek some solace in the fact that your passing saved another’s life.
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My opinion in this matter is, that any procedure that can save a persons life is good. However the illegal practice of this has it’s unethical points.
A point in hand would be that of Vera Schewdko, a Russian woman who immigrated to Israel. Vera worked as a maid but earned a salary far to low to allow her to send for her 10 year daughter, Nastya who would cry the whole time on the phone, begging to see her mother.
Vera saw an advertisement for the purchase of organs. Distraught and worried about her daughter, she agreed to sell one of her kidneys.
For her sacrifice Vera was paid $10,000 which, for a short while at least, helped her mother daughter situation.
My point is this. It is estimated that $200,000 is paid for a transplant on the black market and that only a small portion of this is given to the donor. Often the donor is given less than promised, even sometimes being given nothing. That is what is wrong.
This trade, no matter how gruesome should be made legal. That way it can save peoples lives, assist those that are in serious financial problems and protect both the participants from ruthless, illegal and heartless intermediaries.
We all have choices and if one parent was to opt to suffer the loss of an organ, in order to feed their children, then that choice is theirs alone to make. The responsibility of the authorities is to see that if someone was to be faced with and make that horrendous choice, then at least they were protected from ruthless, so called, businessmen.
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