Wait or Buy?
Matthew is ten years old and has kidney failure. He has been put on the list for a kidney transplant even though he has been on dialysis for a year and has been responding well to the treatment. The doctors say that he could receive a kidney by age thirteen because he is responding to treatment, but he could take a turn for the worst at any time. Matthew's father finds out about a system where he could pay someone for a matching kidney to keep his son alive.
While Matthew’s father sees this as a potential option, this system is illegal in the United States and many other countries around the world. Five to ten percent of all organ transplants are obtained through an ...view middle of the document...
This illegal organ market has capitalized on an individual's desperation for an organ.
Unfortunately, this trade is prolific and occurs on a continuous basis even though it is illegal. The World Health Organization estimates 63,000 organs obtained in the organ trade market (“Is It Ever Right” 36). The organ trafficking scheme is illegal in every country. At the same time, Iran is the only country in which there is regulated organ sale (“Is It Ever Right” 38). Organ trafficking in the United States, China, and Europe are the worst problem areas of trafficking in the world (Chen 134). Budiani-Saberi and Delmonico, professors at University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School, made a model of an international organ trade and what it may look like. There are typically four different variations. The model is simply this: a recipient travels from country B to country A, where the donor is located. Additionally, the donor can travel from country A to country B, where the recipient is located. The donor and recipient can travel from country A to country B, where the transplant is performed. Finally, the donor from country A and the recipient from country B can both travel to country C, where the transplant is performed.
The demand for organs is immensely high. “In 2013 a total of 121,272 Americans were waiting for an organ, while 28,954 people had received an organ and 14,257 others had donated one. Unless some of the donors had given two or more organs, roughly 14,697 people had obtained their organs illegally” (Scutti). The true extent of organ trafficking is difficult to target due to organ laundering, “which is when the illegal purchase of organs appears to be legal transactions” (Scutti). Unless nations work together on this issue, many more people, in some cases the recipients as well as the donors, may become victims of this agonizing situation.
Since organ trafficking is illegal, the people who commit this kind of crime have to face the consequences. “Organ trafficking violates fundamental human rights, such as the rights to life, liberty, security in person, and freedom from cruel or inhumane treatment” (Cholia). Those who purchase organs are likely to have falsified the transaction, saying a relative donated the organ (Scutti). The recipients of an illegal organ tend to fare worse than those who have received one legally. This may be due to poor medical resources and facilities because operations are kept off the record. They are at an increased risk of contracting transmissible diseases (Samadi), post and preoperative complications, and poor follow-up care. Recipients who experience these postoperative difficulties may be concerned about seeking help for fear of legal consequences.
Additionally, those who give away their organs may be ambivalent or reluctant to talk due to a fear of prosecution (Scutti). Poverty and corruption are underlying themes behind most victim donors, which often makes donating organs...