Organ Donation Essay

1469 Words6 Pages
In a world where life expectancy has increased tremendously over the last century because of new technology and medical procedures, we find humanity ever pushing the boundaries on what it can do to prevent loss of life where possible. One example is the area of organ donation and transplantation. However, unlike many other technologies or procedures which can be built, manufactured, or learned, organ transplantation requires one thing that we can’t create yet: an organ itself. Because our increased life span causes more people to require a replacement organ when theirs starts to fail, the demand has far outrun the supply and the future only looks to get worse. “Between the years 1988 and 2006 the number of transplants doubled, but the…show more content…
“I have an organ here that could save a life,” she said. “I've got two kidneys, one I could do without." (Case Study) The ethical issue for the majority of people in the U.S. does not seem to be whether donating organs should be allowed, but instead should someone be compensated for their donation. As described earlier, the U.S. has a major shortage of organs and an even greater shortage is found in some areas of the world. However, countries like Iran have found a way to eliminate their shortage completely. “Iran adopted a system of paying kidney donors in 1988 and within 11 years it became the only country in the world to clear its waiting list for transplants.” (Economist, 2011) Although this sounds promising, it is important to look at the effects on the organ donor. In a study done on Iranian donors who sold their kidneys, it was found that many donors were negatively affected emotionally and physically after donating and that given the chance most would never donate again nor would they advise anyone else to do so. (Zargooshi, 2001) Additionally, many claimed to be worse off financially after donating due to an inability to work. (Goyal, 2002) To some, this last set of findings would be enough to supersede the benefit of clearing the organ waiting lists. Unfortunately, we must also take into consideration that whether legal or not, organ sales will continue to take place. “There is already a

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