The situation has recently sparked a debate about what was once unthinkable – paying people for organ donation. Six pundits recently addressed this emotional issue in an Oxford-style debate, the latest of this season`s events in the Intelligence Squared U.S. series “Kidney for Sale”: Iran Has a Legal Market for Organs, But the System Doesn`t Always Work However, systems like the U.S. and similar systems like the U.K.`s aren`t the only viable options. While these are the most globally accepted ways to meet the demand for organs, they are not the only ones; Iran has its own method of dealing with demand. Beginning in 1988, Iran launched a program to compensate donors for organ donation, eliminating the waiting list for kidney transplants. Under the current system, buyers and sellers can buy and sell kidneys at a fixed price of $4,600. Although parallel exploitation agreements have been concluded outside the state-regulated system, Iran has been able to avoid many of the ethical problems that often arise from the sale of organs. For example, one study found that while the majority of kidneys sold in Iran came from people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, everyone, rich or poor, could have equal access to kidney transplants thanks to funding from nonprofits. As mentioned earlier, a financially desperate person who donates organs often leads to poor health outcomes, making that person even more economically unstable.
However, in the Iranian system, donors enjoy health insurance for at least one year after surgery and reduced coverage for an additional period after the end of this coverage. Although the system is not perfect, it allows those who need kidneys to access it relatively easily and reduces the exploitation of the poor that prevails in countries such as Pakistan and the Philippines. It is estimated that if the U.S. established a similar legal market for the sale of kidneys and paid donors $45,000, it would not only eliminate the waiting list for kidneys, but would also save taxpayers $12 billion a year. “Dirty Pretty Things” and the Law: Healing America`s Organ Shortage and Health Crisis. Transplantation professionals are increasingly pushing to legalize the direct sale of human organs from living donors. This movement is gaining momentum and should receive the necessary support from policymakers to modify NOTA to allow the exchange of human organs in exchange for valuable quid pro quos. If such an exchange is allowed, this article postulates that living organ donors should only be able to receive a benefit in kind in exchange for their organs – in particular, comprehensive health care throughout life.
This would minimize the health crisis in the United States and continue to prevent the exploitation of poor Americans. This proposal would also effectively reduce the number of deaths in the United States due to organ shortages, while reducing the number of deaths caused by the lack of adequate health care. In order to advance such a proposal, NOTE must be amended to allow the exchange of human organs for the valuable examination of comprehensive health care throughout life. Should people be paid to donate their organs? iStockphoto Hide caption Lack of organs carries a high risk of preventable death. This is not just a problem in the UK, but worldwide. An immediate solution? Legalization of the sale of organs. One of the arguments against legalizing the buying and selling of organs is that it would likely lead to a society where only the rich would have access to vital organ transplants and the poor would be the main donors of those organs. Currently, the U.S. system fights this inequality by not paying or charging people for organs and granting people organ transplants only by putting them on a waiting list that comes first, grinds first. This means that no matter if someone is rich or poor, an individual has the same chance of receiving an organ transplant as the next person. When there is an organ market, there is a dynamic of exploitation between rich and poor, where the poor sell their organs and are often not fairly remunerated. This is an important reason why the World Health Organization has begged states to end “transplant tourism.” Transplant tourism has attracted the attention of the international community as a deeply exploitative practice, due in large part to its process.
This is because it often happens that the poor sell their organs at low prices to an intermediary, who then sells the same organs to wealthy buyers for large sums of money. For example, one source points out that in Pakistan, people are abandoning their loins to be freed from slavery. However, the same article states that when people sell their organs, their health often deteriorates, which can plunge them further into a life of poverty. Thus, while more organ transplants could be performed in a more capitalist system, it would likely only benefit the upper classes, creating a deeply exploitative and unequal system.