An Argumentative Analysis on the Need to Pay for Organs Transplantations

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The United States government forbids the purchase of organs in all states, according to the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984. As a result of numerous cases involving the unethical sale of organs, this act was passed. However, the decision to prohibit the sale of organs has lately drawn a lot of attention to the high rate of mortality among many patients due to a lack of organs for transplantation. Simultaneously, the number of people in need of organs for transportation has risen year after year. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there were over 20000 people in the waiting room for organ transplants. By 2010, this number notably increased up to 100,000 waiting patients. As a result of this trend, several states such as Pennsylvania have found it wise to review the National Organ Transplant Act by allowing the compensation of the organ donors. Many individuals have positively taken this idea as a way to ensure a real advantage to all the parties involved in the process including the recipient, transplant programmes, the health practitioners, and finally the donor. This paper aims at analyzing the positive impacts associated with compensation of the organs donors while it also supports the idea at large.
Positive Impacts associated with the Compensation of the Organ Donors
Over 2 million people in the United States die each year due to the lack of organs donors for transplantation processes (Friedman). Scholars and health practitioners propose that organ compensation may increase their supply as donors will have increased will to give out their organs in the light of their economic gain. With the kidney disease epidemic affecting over 26 million people in the US, compensating for organ donation may result in saving lives of millions of people (Friedman). In the US today, kidney disease takes the lives of approximately 5,000 people per year. At the same time, only 36% of the people living on dialysis survive for five years and above while in the waiting room waiting for potential donors to give away their organs (Fry-Revere). Today, over 400,000 Americans are on dialysis currently. Most of them come from wealthy families willing to spend money to save their lives (Fry-Revere). Also, the US records an average of 5,000 living organs donors per year. If this rate may double, the results will translate into saving the lives of over 50,000 people in 5 years. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network also noted that, among the people in the waiting room for the kidney transplant, only 15% of them would benefit from one (Fry-Revere). This situation is due to the unwillingness among the population in donating their organs and as a result fall victim of the potential dangers that may occur.
There are several reasons why compensation for organ donation is essential in the US and the whole world today. Firstly, payment of donors will drastically increase the number of donors willing to share organs. Many willing organ donors fear the potential outcomes that may relate to the transplantation of organs. Some of them fear that if they give away their organs, they might not be able to cater for the health issues that may eventually occur to them in the future. However, paying organ donors may result in a reduced fear of their inability to financially support their health status in future. On the other hand, increase in the number of organ donors will ensure saving more lives. According to Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, over 60% of the interviewed Americans showed support to the modest compensation of donors during organ transplantation. This fact clarifies that many people are willing to share their organs if they can receive payment.
Secondly, payment of organ donors will give the donor an advantage as the third party in the transplantation process. According to the Organ Donation and Recovery Act of 2004, an organ donor should be protected by the insurance of the transplantation patient from the onset of the transplantation process until he/she is fully recovered (Friedman). According to Friedman (2006), the protection by patient’s insurance cover does not guarantee the donor a better life after the transplantation process. On the other hand, the recipient resumes his/her regular life after receiving the organ (Friedman). The transplantation doctors also receive compensation for every successful process (Friedman). The transplantation programmes also validate their effectiveness through showing the results of the organ transplant processes that have been successful (Friedman). Therefore, the entire process appeals to providing positive and beneficial outcomes to all the parties involved except the donor. In this light, payment of a donor after giving out his/her organ to save a life is the only way that can translate into an advantage to them.
Thirdly, compensation of the donors will significantly reduce the burden of dialysis costs on the taxpayers. In the US today, there are over 100,000 people in the waiting rooms hoping to find potential organ donors. Out of these patients, 80,000 are on dialysis while in dire need of kidney transplant (Fry-Revere). With many people unwilling to donate their organs, these patients end up staying in the hospitals for a prolonged duration of time waiting for potential willing donors. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, an average person can remain for up to five years in the waiting room before finding a willing potential organ donor. However, through allowing for the payment of the donors, many people will have the will to provide their organs to save lives. As a result, the number of the patients on dialysis will significantly reduce with most of them going home after successful and sufficient transplantations. Thus, the burden of dialysis costs that rests heavily on the taxpayer will diminish with a tremendous impact. The government spends over $300 million for dialysis care every year (Fry-Revere). At the same time, this will provide a significant financial relief for the recipients and their families.
Fourthly, payment of donors will lead to the reunion of the recipients with their daily occupations. Patients will no longer need to wait for an extended period for a potential donor to present their organs. After transplantations, more patients will leave hospitals and resume their daily operations efficiently (Friedman). Thus, the previous costs associated with dialysis and patient care in the hospitals will reduce. At the same time, patients can also work to earn income to support themselves and their families after spending heavily on their health. As a result, this will benefit the recipients’ families and the taxpayers at the national level.
Lastly, compensation of the organ donors will eliminate unethical practices associated with organs procurement. Many families engage in unlawful and unethical practices in search for organs such as kidneys and liver to save the lives of their family members (UCSF). On the same note, willing individual donors engage in unlawful practices by trying to earn income through selling their organs to those who need them for survival. The kidney and liver diseases have severely increased in the population. Currently, there are over 400,000 and 150,000 people with kidney and liver diseases respectively in the United States (UCSF). On the other hand, increase in the level of unemployment and the living standards compel individuals to engage in unlawful activities to earn a living. The prevalence of these diseases has also increased significantly in other countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and Belgium (UCSF). In most of these nations, the law authorities have come across many cases involving unlawful procurement of organs. Therefore, through the payment of donors, the practice can turn legal and bound by some laws. Thus, this will reduce the rate of unlawful and unethical practices associated with organ transplantation.
Up to today, the practice of organs donors’ compensation remains illegal in the United States and many other nations across the world. The practice remains illegal due to the risky unethical and unlawful activities that may result through the involvement of money in the process. However, recent studies show that the rate of willingness to donate organs has reduced among the donors due to the fear of negative impacts and lack of interest as the donors do not gain anything from the practice. As a result, many countries and some states in the US have considered the need to allow payment of the organ donors as a way to motivate and reward them. Through donors’ payment, the organ transplantation process will have numerous advantages such as reduced loss of lives, reduced burden of taxpayers, economic benefits to the donors and the recipients’ families, and a significant reduction in the burden of the taxpayers in the costs associated with health. 
Works Cited
Friedman, Amy L. "Controversy: Payment for living organ donation should be legalised." BMJ: British Medical Journal 333.7571 (2006): 746.
Fry-Revere, Sigrid. Why Should Donating an Organ Cost so Much? October, 2014, Accessed 05 Dec. 2017.
UCSF. The Kidney Project: Statistics. School of Pharmacy and Medicine. 2013, Accessed 05 Dec. 2017.

August 09, 2021




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