Organ Donation Should Be Compulsory

Decent Essays
Every 12 minutes in the United States another name is added to the list of people waiting for an organ transplant. Of the over 100,000 people on this list it is estimated that 18 people die each day due to the lack of available organs (American Transplant Foundation, 2014) What if these lives could be saved and the number of available organs for transplant could be increased exponentially? Does it make moral, financial, or ethical sense to bury or incinerate perfectly viable organs that could be used to save the lives others? The purpose of this paper is to argue that organ donation should be compulsory unless a person or family specifically opts out.
My first justification for compulsory organ donation is that it saves lives. To illustrate this point, consider the difference in consent rates between two similar countries, Austria and Germany. In Germany they use an opt-in system much like the United States and only 12 percent of the population consents to organ donation. Conversely, in Austria, which uses opt-out system has a 99 percent participation rate (Thaler, 2009). In 2013 there were approximately 14,000 organ donors who donated over 28,000 organs to people in dire need of transplants (American Transplant Foundation, 2014). If you compare this number to the over 100,000 people awaiting an organ donation you begin to grasp the scope of the disparity. Adding to this disparity is the fact that even though 90% of Americans support the practice of Organ donation
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