Transplantology is one of the most promising medical science areas; it accumulates the latest achievements in modern surgery, resuscitation, anesthesiology, immunology, pharmacology, and other branches of medicine. Thanks to human organ transplantation, it has become possible to treat patients who were previously considered fated. Therefore, selling and buying human organs has to be legalized. Otherwise, due to strong demand and weak legal control, human organ commercialization will create conditions for forming a shadow market for these services, which is unacceptable.
In fact, the human body’s commercialization has already begun, as it is possible to sell and buy blood, sperm, or egg cell. Today, there are examples of organs’ legal sale; for example, in Iran, kidneys sale is carried out under state control. The only question is putting the already established human organs market from living donors (and from corpses) on a solid legal basis. Legalization will also provide incentives for deceased people’s relatives to offer vital body parts to others in need. Hearts, corneas, and bones will be used for treatment on a larger scale than today. Also, it will spur medical equipment manufacturers to innovate to provide safer transportation and organ transplants. The ban will only increase the shortage of donor organs (in the United States, thousands of people die every year without waiting for a human organ transplant operation) (Gillespie, 2019), which will lead to a further flourishing of the black market and deprive the mechanisms for protecting donors and recipients of their interests.
On the other hand, transforming the human body into a thing or a commodity depersonalizes a person, causing moral damage. Allowing the organ trade will increase social injustice – the rich will literally survive at the poor’s expense, significantly destabilizing public life. People who need money to feed their families or educate their children will be forced to donate their organs, which casts doubt on such transactions’ economic fairness. Using a human corpse as a source of organ transplantation also raises a whole range of complex moral problems. For example, most of the world’s religions prohibit the infliction of damage to a deceased person’s body, prescribing a careful and respectful attitude towards it. Considering the importance of these limitations, can we expect a permit for organ trade in the future? Modern. For example, a few decades ago, the practice of euthanasia was illegal and equated to murder. Today, euthanasia is allowed in some European countries.
The arguments against selling and buying human organs are significant, but there is no denying the problem of illegal organ trafficking, the extent of which is difficult to assess. At the same time, the number of patients in urgent need of organs is constantly growing. No doubt, the legal market’s development will hit the economy of the alternative, illegal market. The formation of an open market for human organs will increase their availability, help save lives, control medical costs, and be a more righteous moral act in transplanting body organs to patients in need. However, there are vital ethical, religious, and moral considerations against the human organs trade, which should not be ignored.
In the long run, humanity will have to find a solution to the problems outlined earlier. It is crucial to start building a strategy that will redirect illegal human organ transplantation into legal frameworks by utilizing technological progress and extensive scientific and public discussion. It requires specialists’ joint efforts in medicine, law, ethics, theology, and psychology to develop compromise solutions that will receive wide public recognition and trust. The first step to solving the problem may be the partial legalization of the existing organ market or the introduction of material compensation for volunteers who donate their organs legally.
Gillespie, R. (2019). What money cannot buy and what money ought not to buy: Dignity, motives, and markets in human organ procurement debates. Journal of Medical Humanities, 40, 101–116. Web.