The organised crime of organ trafficking
Across the world today people are selling their bodily organs to organ trafficking syndicates in order to make money for necessities and to pay off loans used in order to survive. Modern medical technology has vastly improved the outcome of organ transplants and survival rates of human organ recipients. This in turn means that as a survival option many more potential recipients are being placed on waiting lists in order to receive organ transplants. What therefore contributes to the organised crime of black markets in human organs is the great shortages in the numbers of donated organ necessary for organ transplantations. This is due to increased numbers of patients on transplant waiting lists. Poor donors are therefore willing, in the nonregulated system of organ trade, to sell their organs to increase their fortunes and rich ill recipients are willing to pay any price for any organ. Organised crime legislation and medical policies today make this activity illegal and this can be said to be half the problem in increased organ markets and organ trafficking syndicates. The traditional system of organ donation, namely altruistic organ donation without compensation, is no longer effective enough in ensuring that sufficient numbers of human organs are donated yearly to meet the demand. Hospitals and other non-governmental organisations or institutions dealing with organ donation, procurement and human organ transplantation are in desperate need of such organs for organ transplants. For this reason various solutions have been illustrated as methods in eliminating the organised crime of organ trafficking and increasing available organs needed for transplantation. Some of these options include national organ donor registries to track current organ donors, presumed consent laws which require donors to specifically opt out of an organ donor registry, conscription or state owned organs as well as future’s markets or donation contracts and other forms of compensation to donors such as tax deductions, preference for future organ transplants above other recipients and remuneration for all expenses incurred and lost during the organ donation period. Educational and public media programmes have also been suggested to educate average citizens on the issue of organ transplantation and to make them aware of organ trafficking and the need for donated organs, whether such human organs are donated while the donor is alive or if the donor only consent to such removal of organs once deceased. Many ethical dilemmas exist regarding these various ideas to increase donated organs. People feel that by selling human organs for example, poor donors will be exploited and altruistic donations will no longer be willing to donate their organs because of feelings of disgust for newly designed organ donation legislation.Beyond this fear lies the fear that if organ markets were legalised only richer members of society would be able to afford organ transplantations and that thereby poorer people would not have access to organ transplants. The situation without such a legalised market in place, however, already exploits the poor members of society and bad health risks for both the organ donor and organ recipient ensue due to shocking medical surroundings and incorrect procedures used in illegal organ transplantations. What is recommended therefore is that such legalised systems of compensated organ donation are to work in conjunction with the traditional altruistic system of organ donation and other methods used to increase organ donation and that legislation be correctly drafted and implemented to benefit both organ donor and organ recipient. It is deemed that such a legalised system of organ sales will eventually eliminate the organised crime of organ trafficking as the illegal demand for such organs will no longer exist. This will occur because of increased organ donations due to, amongst other methods of organ procurement, educational programmes and organ donors receiving some form of compensation for their donation.
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