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Organ Donation Essay

2388 words - 10 pages

Today we are in great need of a solution to solve the problem of the shortage of human organs available for transplant. The website for Donate Life America estimates that in the United States over 100 people per day are added to the current list of over 100,000 men, women, and children that are waiting for life-saving transplants. Sadly enough, approximately 18 people a day on that list die just because they cannot outlive the wait for the organ that they so desperately need to survive. James Burdick, director of the Division of Transplantation for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services confirms, “The need for organ transplants continues to grow and this demand continues to outpace the supply of transplantable organs”. The shortage of organs globally has created a black market which profits from the needs of desperate people who either need to buy an organ in order to live longer or need to sell an organ in order to survive. This illegal industry at one time was thought to have been an urban legend; however, in October The New York Times ran a shocking story about organ trafficking in the United States. A New Jersey businessman was arrested for trying to sell a kidney. He was participating as a middleman between the recipient and the living donor and the cost for this service was $160,000 (Tao A26).
Unfortunately, not enough people become organ donors prior to their death, which causes many people to think that the way to solve our current shortage is to buy and sell organs for transplant. Buying and selling organs is morally, ethically, and legally wrong and it is not a solution to the organ shortage because it violates human rights by taking advantage of desperate people who believe there are no other options and in the end will create an increased burden on the health care system.
In 1954, the kidney was the first human organ to be transplanted successfully and until the 1980’s the potential of organ rejection limited the number of transplants performed (“Facts and Figures”). It was only a matter of time before a businessman in Virginia saw a way to profit from the success of transplantation. In 1983 H. Barry Jacobs announced the opening of a new exchange through which competent adults could buy and sell organs. His failing was in his decision to use needy immigrants as the source of the organs (Pence 36). As a result Congress, passed the National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) in 1984, which prohibited the sale of human organs and violators would be subjected to fines and imprisonment (“Donation Details”).
Since that time donation has been the only way to increase the current supply of transplantable organs. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of organ donation due to misconceptions and lack of knowledge. In fact, organ transplant recipient Dr. Phil H. Berry, Jr. points out that there would be less deaths of people waiting for transplants, “if Americans would overcome their reluctance to...

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