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How to prevent the illegal Buying and Selling of kidneys (Kidney black market).

Updated on June 22, 2016

Kidney Transplant Overview

Kidney transplant helps patients in prolonging their survival times. People who have kidney problems; whose kidneys have suffered certain failures, may benefit from sold kidneys for transplant. However, several indications must often be met when conducting a kidney transplant. Some multitudes are reportedly in need of kidneys as others are also on the list of those who wish to trade their kidneys. Since transplantation of kidneys has been identified as an entire procedure that individuals can perfectly benefit from, there has been a trending increase in demand for healthier kidneys.

In the past, the donation of kidneys was considered as an act of altruism. The availability of kidneys for transplantation depended on the number of people who were willing to donate their healthy kidneys to their loved ones. This phenomenon is slowly changing with some individuals who require kidneys increasing with time. Many people thought that the kidney shortage would be an epidemic and proposed the trade of this organ from people who were willing to sell theirs. Since donations of the kidney have gone down, there is an undoubted increase in demand for kidneys in healthcare settings, making the healthcare providers to propose a commercialized method of obtaining kidneys.

Due to the trending markets, it is speculated that there is legislation that has been offered to allow people to trade their kidneys for money. The main aim of this legislation is not to resolve the financial issues that various healthy individuals face, but to resolve the unwaveringly growing demand for kidneys. However, there is the problem that has been noted within the legislation. Use of financial incentive has been strongly debated as a method of procuring the kidneys. Supporters of this legislation; however, state that the bill will help the healthcare providers to resolve the demands for the kidney. They add that the need for a kidney is the number one leading demand for solid organs that also ensures negligible risks to living donors.


National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) banned the buying and selling of certain organs. NOTA stated that it is a crime for and individual to knowingly receive or acquire zany of the known human organs for valuable considerations for use in human transplantation if the transfer is deemed to cause interstate commerce. One of the main problems that the congress noted with the growing demands for kidney was that the donors would be forced to donate kidneys or subjected to decoyed donation. In as much as some individuals thought that the body organs are possessions and one’s properties, NOTA gave directions that the organs as well as the body parts of an individual should not be viewed as commodities for commercial exchange.

Organs should not be placed in the commercial arena for valuable considerations. NOTA have given directions against the sale of body organs. Despite the growing demands for kidney transplant as well as the need for cadaveric donations, it can still be noted that commercialized acquisition of organs and human cadavers is illegal. While NOTA intends to prevent people from haphazard sale of body organs, some congressmen say that the purported authority on the human by the congress, would therefore mean that the congress owns and may sell human bodies. The issue of whether the kidneys can be sold is still unsettled to date. The growing concern is what makes people able to trade their body organs. The valuable body organs like kidneys should be donated upon a thorough patient education and concession with the medical professionals.

The values of kidneys have been increased due to the demands for the organ. While many people are barraged from trading their kidneys for commercial benefits, there is concern that have been expressed that the ban has not been extended to prevent the research and educational centers from buying and using of the same organs. The use of these organs for educational and research purposes has also been stated as one of the reasons why the sale of organs has become popular. Reports indicate that the advancement of the bio-technological research as well as the genetic science has made the sale of organs a multi-billion trade.


The main problem which remains unresolved is how individuals can donate organs without making profits out of it. The proponents of kidney sale say that it is a normal practice of saving lives of people who require kidney transplant. As thousands of patients wait eagerly for long to receive willing donors, hundreds of patients die. Some people tend to think that sale of kidney would therefore be for the right course. Studies indicate that giving the commercial markets the chance to trade in the sale of organs would significantly prevent people from unintended deaths and suffering. It is clear that with cash incentives, more people would agree to donate the kidneys that will be used to mitigate the kidney deficit problem.

The high numbers of people who would give their kidneys for a price wills also allow the patients to get variety of kidneys for a match. This will facilitate the quicker and timely transfers thus saving lives of many patients. On the other hand, proponents also claim that increased willingness of people to donate kidneys at a price will attract many donors. This will consequently make the costs for such organs drop making many patients able to afford the kidneys.

In as much as researchers tend to prove the benefits of kidney donations, it would be important to preserve life and alleviate suffering of people but not through any means. In as much as sale of organs may help in preserving lives of people, it may be considered an injustice. Selling of an organ is also considered as an injustice to one’s self. As justice states, each and every individual has right to life and complete health. Medical benefits are meant for everyone irrespective of the financial or socioeconomic statuses.

There is an imbalance in the numbers of people who are able to buy organs and those who are able to sell their organs for money. People, who always intend to sell kidneys to others, often have the intention of resolving their personal financial problems rather than saving lives. The fact that most poor people are vulnerable to the sale of organs is a concern of the justice system. It is also evident that most poor people would not have the capacity to buy kidneys if there were markets for kidneys. Thus the sale of kidney is argued as an event that endangers the lives of poor people. Justice systems note that this event may be prone to facilitating imbalance in enjoyment of health benefits.

People have the right for living with dignity and freedom. Kidney sales have been reported as an abuse of body in many poor countries. Critics of the sale of kidneys have reported that the trade in kidneys is a violation of freedom and dignity of individuals. The kidney sale has been heightened in the impoverished third world countries. This makes it to be seen as an act of exploitation rather than a life-saving event. Many people, who seek to make profits out of the sale of kidneys, often decoy the donors; who are commonly poor men and women, into consenting. After consents have been given, these people may consider the poor individuals as commercial commodities and exploit them in whichever way they want.

Effects of Kidney Black Market

Idyllically, selling of kidney remains a dangerous trade since studies have indicated that the main target for source of kidneys is the indigent. The black markets for kidneys have long targeted the economically vulnerable people for profitable donations against the law. The incredible numbers of people, who receive kidneys in certain healthcare institutions, is enough evidence to show how the trade on kidneys is kept undercover. Although transplants offer the patients life and survival chances, ethical considerations are often established to determine the process of procuring kidneys for the patients in demand.

Developed countries have stringent restrictions on the sale of kidneys. This has helped in regulating the number of exploited individuals who sell their organs for larger amounts of money. However, most of the patients in the developed countries often get their kidneys for transplantation from poor countries. Since the third world countries have poor healthcare systems as well as poor procedures in obtaining the kidneys, it has been noted that the acquired kidneys may pose huge health risks to the kidney recipients. In cases of such illegal kidney transplants, there are usual cases of comorbidity as well as cases of recipient rehospitalization. Due to the fact that procedures of obtaining kidneys from poor people may be unsterile and illegal, mortality rates in kidney transplants increase significantly.

Philosophical and practical implications for sale of kidneys include subjecting a healthy donor to risk of losing a healthy kidney. This exposes the donor to further health complications. The procedure of harvesting a kidney from n individual is in its own entity a harmful procedure. The ethical directions in medicine provide that the healthcare providers, doctors and physicians are not supposed to do any harm to the consumers. Harvesting kidney is harmful and would be treated as an offense. Sale of kidney leads to imbalance in healthcare benefits. As the rich buys kidney from the poor individuals, it may not be possible for the poor person to obtain kidney from the rich man. This defies the principle of equal right to healthcare benefits to everyone irrespective of poverty or riches.

Contrary to the medical ethics, there are cultural and religious concepts of organ donations that people must also understand. Communities and the religions that various people belong to often have their norms and perceptions on the medical interventions that we are frequently exposed to. In order to be in line with the religious and community norms, it would be unnecessary to trade an individual’s kidney.

There is little morality in selling a vital organ like kidney. Many researchers argue that as many people sell blood, plasma or sperms, it is logically convincing since they have the capability of regenerating excess of these even after frequent donations. However; when it comes to kidney donations, it is noted as an immoral procedure. Most people, who donate kidneys, remain vulnerable to renal conditions in their entire lives. On top of this, they risk losing their lives during the harvesting procedures. Usually, there is no guarantee that the kidney-harvesting procedure would be successful. Moreover, it is a surety that once an individual donates his or her one kidney, she will never be able again to develop another kidney. These events leave most donors in vulnerable health statuses despite the financial benefits that they receive from the recipient.


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