Cause and Effect of Illegal Organ Donation. Essay Example.

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Wesleyan University
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Arguably, the topic of organ donation is one that contains numerous morally and ethically conflicting views. While a majority of individuals may consider this to be a genuine way of saving the life of another, others consider the issue as a dangerous one that exploits other individuals. In the world of modern medicine, for instance, there is no doubt that organ donation is a possible way of saving countless lives. Thus, while some organs are rightfully donated from those who are extremely sick to save the lives of other people, there has been an ongoing issue of organ commercialization in black market platforms. Basically, these black markets primarily comprise of wealthy patients from developed countries using people termed as brokers to arrange for the purchase of various organs from poor and vulnerable people in underdeveloped countries. Although reports according to the World Health Organization (WHO) substantiate that organ transportation is considered a necessary treatment for patients whose organs have failed, the increased cases of illegal organ donations are alarming. In the United States, for instance, the legal donation of organs as a medical treatment practice has existed since the 1950s. In this regard, organs are given to those individuals whose need is the greatest, regardless of their wealth or social position. However, in the modern day today, the need for organs, unfortunately, outweighs the current supply and hence leading to the increase of human organs being sold on the black market. This essay seeks to discuss poverty and corruption as the primary causes of illegal organ donation as well as their corresponding effects.

Poverty and corruption are considered the main underlying themes behind the ongoing illegal organ donation. With the current worldwide statistics of increased terminal diseases, the need for organs greatly outweighs the current supply. For instance, according to a 2013 report by the World Health Organization, an approximate of 76% of the organs sold in the black market were kidneys, hence reflecting the growing demand as a result of numerous complications of high blood pressure and diabetes. This being the case, an illegal market has capitalized especially among members of poor and vulnerable populations(). In some countries such as Pakistan, China, and India, it has been debated that organs should be sold rather than being donated, owing to the critical shortage of organs being donated. While this discussion may hold some truth, studies substantiate that a majority of the people who sell their organs are the poor and needy people who are hardly able to finance their living. An ideal background example of the ongoing illegal organ donation is reflected in some countries such as India where people use their kidneys as collateral for money lenders. According to studies done different scholars, there is evidence that organs such as kidneys in these regions are often sold to wealthy people in countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United States and the United Kingdom, among others. Erin and Harris (2014) contend that at present in Western Europe, approximately 40,000 patients are in dire need of kidney transplants. It is, however, expected that only 1 in 4 of these patients would be able to receive these organs. As a result of this imbalance, a global black market has ensued. Wealthy patients travel from their countries to those countries who are lax in enforcing laws against illegal organ donations, to receive the transplants from the desperately poor people.

As expected, with a cause, comes its corresponding consequences. There are, therefore, various effects of the current day ongoing illegal organ donations. One of the major effects of the current illegal organ donation is the spread of transmissible diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B among many others. The other common effect of illegal organ trade of any kind and the increasing trend is the increase in scams where the potential recipients lose money to scammers who give them false promises. A good example is a case that involved an Indian doctor who was sentenced to fifteen years in jail for giving false promises to patients that he could arrange for their buying and transplanting of organs (Samadi, 2012). As a result, the desperate patients give their money in advance and travel to India for their surgical procedure only to find that it was all a scam. This leads to more torture both physiologically and emotionally for the victims of scams.

The illegal organ trade in the black market has resulted in the reconstruction of the modern day slavery where the healthy but weak individuals are forced to pay their debts through the donation of their precious organs to wealthy individuals. This is common in developing countries where poverty may be the driving factor for individuals to have their organs removed (Samadi, 2012). Such cases are usually accompanied by a scam if the people intending to have their financial dilemma solved are given false promises.

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