Organ Sales Will Save Lives is Joanna MacKay’s essay that argues in favor of regulatory organ selling. The author suggests many people are willing to go through the dangerous procedure of buying or selling organs on the black market. Moreover, it is advised that the action is regulated so that both the donor and the buyer are safe and satisfied with the transaction.
Ethical vs. Financial Reasons
The current organ transplant procedures are designed to focus on ethics rather than financial gains for the donor. Moreover, most transplants are received from cadavers or relatives with the same blood type. The author argues that in the current situation, the donor is the only party that has nothing to gain (MacKay 161). However, if the donor is a close family member, the intention will be to help and save a loved one. This is why a successful operation is a win-win situation.
The procedure is risky, and living with one kidney requires a permanent change of lifestyle. This is why people who are willing to take this step do it because they are motivated by the possibility of their family member passing away. Furthermore, doctors observe autonomy, which is why harvesting organs from a cadaver without the person’s prior consent is also illegal. If organ donation becomes a regulated business, people will put their lives at risk to earn money rather than to help somebody. The whole ethical aspect of donating organs will turn into a market where the highest bet will win.
Taking Advantage of the Poor
It is no doubt that people with a low income will be donors if a new regulated business allows it. According to MacKay (160), individuals in third-world countries would be the first to sell their kidneys. However, this narrative only supports the idea that health is a privilege. Poor people would resort to selling organs, and rich people would buy them. This creates even more inequalities in the medical field and supports an unfair system. Moreover, if a new system is put in place, it can be argued that it can go too far. People will view organ donation as a lottery ticket. Such an implementation would not only encourage people to sell their kidneys but also use this method as an escape from poverty. The system would be inherently unfair if the only chance to survive is to sell a body part to someone who is willing to buy it.
Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem
The preposition makes organ donation too easy and turns the procedure into an unethical business. The author mentions that the donors are the ones who take risks, and they have to be responsible for this decision (MacKay 160). However, no one can fairly assess if the outcome will be worth the risks. If organ selling were legal, this would allow people with all sorts of problems to have a market where they can monetize their bodies regardless of their financial issues. This means that people with gambling or shopping addictions would be taken advantage of due to their constant need for money. In other instances, single parents would put their lives at risk to feed their families. In case the operation goes wrong, the buyer would not support the family because the donor did not go through with the procedure.
While illegal organ marketing is present on the black market, it is not widely available. The author illustrates how this business is already actively taking advantage of people who are willing to earn money (MacKay 160). If the procedure becomes legal, many more individuals will consider it due to the accessibility of this option. There are various ethical issues with this potential regulation, which is why it is impossible to implement.
MacKay, Joanna. ”Organ Sales Will Save Lives.” Ethics and Politics in Science, 2004.