Is Organ Harvesting Ethical Essay

The concept of organs as commodities is one that sets a dangerous precedent for humankind. It turns people into potential banks that can be robbed at a moment’s notice—and indeed some are. With organs being viewed as so much in demand, it makes organ harvesting into a lucrative career for some who do not have the ethical restraints needed to keep one from viewing humans as mere means to wealth. Organs should not be allowed to be sold, because it cheapens the value of one’s existence. As no price can be put on one’s life or one’s existence, no price should be allowed to be put on one’s organs. Doing so only opens the door to abuses and sets a precedent that will eventually lead to everyone’s life being in danger of being stolen so that another might profit from the organs that one has.

Indeed, as Caplan and Parent (n.d.) note, “the pressure is getting worse because waiting lists are growing faster than the supply of organs.” This means that organs are in high demand—and when something is in high demand, its value goes up—especially in terms of dollar signs. This inherently makes organ transplantation an issue that is bound to have ethical challenges. From a social ethics points of view, cost should not be a factor in obtaining quality health care (Fowler, 2010)—yet in organ transplantation, it is, precisely because of the nature of the care being provided and the scarcity of organs available for the number of people waiting. Moreover, as Jonsen et al. (2010) note, a clinical ethical problem can emerge when goals are poorly defined for all involved: “Sometimes the ethical problem merely reflects a failure to clarify for all participants the feasible goals” (Jonsen et al., 2010, p. 18). For the case of organ transplantation, the goals are so stretched that it makes outcomes almost miraculous—like finding a diamond in the rough. This immediately raises ethical issues regarding how one should approach the subject if at all. If it cannot be approach ethically—i.e., clearly and systematically, it should not be approached.

Yet, it must be approached and that is the crux of the situation. The implications for nurses nationally and internationally are that everywhere people are waiting for organ transplants, many do not know if they will ever get them, some may be attainable on the black market (Organ Trafficking Prices and…

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