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The Cause and Effect of Illegal Organ Trade - Essay Sample

7 pages
1856 words
George Washington University
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The recent advances in transplantation of human organs have led to the subsequent increase in the number of individuals in need of organ replacement. The medical advances and ensuing public demand curve is responsible for the shortage in organ supply. The number of organs available is not sufficient to meet the ever-deepening demand. Evidently, there is a flourishing international trade where the main commodity is the human organs. The main objective of the trade is to respond to the seemingly high demand for the organs. Regrettably, the organs are purchased from the poor and destitute, and then sold to the rich clientele. For the services and contacts made various intermediaries included but not limited to private hospitals, physicians, and unscrupulous brokers earn serious profits. The phenomenon is deeply alarming to the public and the various stakeholders involved including different religious groups and governments. The international sale of organs betrays the cause of transplantation and goes against any prescribed code of morality imaginable. Additionally, it affects the good faith of voluntary donation to save lives. The following essay analyses the causes and effects of the illegal sale of human organs. The rise in the sale of the human organs is responsible for the deterioration of the approved methods and the standards of human organ transplantation. The factors responsible for the illegal organ trade include but not limited to poverty, increased demand for organs, and widening of the black market.

In the contemporary setting, poverty and inequality in the distribution of resources are on the rise. Survival is basic human instinct that requires a certain degree of resources to actualize. There is a notable direct link between poverty and international organ trade. The number of poor people involved in the international organ trade is alarming, to say the least. In the bid to gain financial freedom, poor people sell their organs. The most affected by this vice are the third world countries where the number of low-income earners is quite high. In such settings, the rich exploit the poor by purchasing the mentioned organs for paltry amounts. It is worth noting that the trade affects every country in the globe but it is deeply magnified in the developing world. Poverty remains the most common factor that compels a person to sell his or her body parts. For example, research conducted in Bangladesh on illegal organ trade connected rich people seeking organ transplants with poor people willing to sell their organs in exchange for money (Parry, 2012).

In order to earn a living, poor people normally go to extreme depths regardless of the repercussions. The realization of the black market organ trade seems like a blessing in disguise to low income families. Many countries including the United Kingdom have poor people willing to sell their body organs such as kidneys for cash (Robison, 2016). The high levels of desperation contribute to such behaviours. Statistics show that Iraq is the leading nation in international organ sale in the black market. It is not surprising since close to 22% of the countrys population lives below the poverty line (Gregg, 2016). It is therefore imperative to eliminate poverty as the first line of defence against human trafficking. To this end, nations need to empower their citizens through education, trade, and maintaining political stability since such are the ultimate tools against poverty. The cure is to eradicate poverty, as it gives the people alternative means of survival. Eliminating poverty will significantly reduce peoples involvement in the detrimental and barbaric trade.

The current advancement in innovation in the transplant technology contributes largely to the meteoric rise in the international organ trade. The realization that organ transplant is essentially a reality is responsible for the soaring demand in organs. The supply has seemingly superseded demand. Under such circumstances, people resort to unethical and illegal means to bridge the existing demand gap. The Political, technical, and public opinion from different nations have focused more on promoting organ donation to cope with the increasing demand for the products. The apparent lack of regulations leads to the witnessed increased activities in the black market. The increasing demand for human organs outdoing the supply has opened doors for uncontrolled smuggling. The number of people in need of organ transplant increases by day making it impossible to control organ trafficking (Nullis-Kapp, 2004). Organ trade is increasingly becoming the facet of globalization that has created trade freedom in the society. The number of human transplants increased tremendously since the first transplant in the early 1980s. Globalization and the improved means for transportation and communication certainly revolutionized the international organ trade, even the illegal ones.

The fact that the trade is lucrative and has the potential of earning people real money makes it highly palatable. Morally, no property exists in a persons body. It is therefore exceedingly wrong and immoral to harvest organs from the human body and use the same as a commodity. However, an increase in the number of people in need for organ transplant triggered the event forcing needy people to seek alternative measures to access human organs. United States of America record thousands of individuals who die each year because of the lack of organs (Frederick, 2010). The only solution to the increasing demand for organs is to increase the supply by allowing more people to sell their organs. The approach not only increases the quantity but also helps people cope with financial problems. Mitigating this problem requires faithful implementation of strict international measures and policies to deter the trade. Involvement of INTERPOL will prove beneficial (Yousaf, 2016). Additionally, international cooperation among countries will also provide lasting solutions. The consorted efforts by the global community will serve to identify and punish the perpetrators at the entry points, where the transactions normally take place.

Coupled with the growing demand and the sheer lack of punishment to the instigators of illegal human trade, the market for organs has been widening in various parts of the world. It is worth noting that wherever the markets exist, there will always be people to do the supply. The hallmark of illegal organ trade is the organized crime with international syndicates profiteering from the trade. Most people prefer the black market since it is unregulated and portends higher levels of profitability. Such benefits have led to many people moving away from the approved method of organ sales or donation into the black market. Standards of human rights should be increased bearing in mind that human organs are bloody commodities and any trade involving such products fuels a global criminal economy (Jared, 2011). The government seems to put little effort on punishing offenders in the black market leading to the rise in the trade. The high demand for human organs, especially in countries that are developed like the United States, has accelerated the growth of the black market economy for organ trafficking and trade (Bowden, 2013). The trade continues to deprive innocent people their rights to life while enriching undeserving cartels.

Illegal international organ trade has stood the test of time since it disguises itself as legitimate, thereby diverting attention of the relevant agencies and authorities. Traders in the black market obtain organs from dead bodies, insane people, and even healthy people to overcome the increasing demand for organs (Scutti, 2012). The rising number of people engaging in black market activities causes an increase in the trade for human organs. Additionally, black markets for human organs have developed in many developing countries giving opportunities for the poor to make a living. Moreover, the wealthy people exploit the poor with some ending up selling organs just to feed their family because of desperation (Jared, 2011). Governments, especially those from third world nations, have created strategies to promote the donation of organs through a presumed consent system but the persisting global organ shortage prevents the implementation of these policies (Bowden, 2013). Consequently, patients seeking organs look for other means to obtain organs. The black market is a viable market that seemingly meets the existing demands. If not checked the problem could worsen. Dealing with the growth of the black markets the hospitals and other authorized institutions should make the trade viable and pay the donors commensurate prices for the organs. Additionally, it requires vigilance from the global citizenry and the law enforcement to bring the criminals to book.

Since illegal organ trade mainly capitalizes on peoples desperation and prospects to make high profits, it has high health and ethical concerns. As mentioned earlier, the majority of the people that sell their organs form part of the vulnerable fraction of the society. For example, in countries like China and Pakistan the kidneys are sold as low as $5000, while the brokers make substantial amount form the transactions (Gregg, 2015). In this regard, the illegal sale of organs leads to the exploitation of the poor by unscrupulous cartels or unlicensed business people. Since the trade happens in the dark, at times the procedures used in the harvesting of the organs do not conform to the prescribed medical standards. Such cases are normally quite risky and often lead to death or fatal infection of the victim.

Illegal international organ trade has a close link to kidnapping and human trafficking. As mentioned earlier, people are always willing to do anything to supply whatever the market demands. The black market portends great levels of profitability particularly to the brokers (Ambagtsheer, 2017). At times, it is hard for the brokers and the other members of the cartel to locate willing donors, thereby resorting to unconventional means. To this end, the criminal entities take advantage of the weak and the vulnerable in the society by kidnapping them and harvesting their organs without their consents. In retrospect, illegal organ trade is a prerequisite for deaths and the current increased activities in human trafficking. A lot of children and vulnerable women are trafficked to have their organs harvested without assenting to it.

The increase in the illegal organ trade is detrimental to religious, moral, and ethical standards known to man. The standards and approved methods of the human organ transplant have been affected by the rising illegal trade for human organs caused by the high rate of Poverty, demand for human organs, and the widening of the black market. The social, economic, and political cause of the trade is quite evident. Therefore, there is need to put measures into place to eradicate the vice. The measures should aim at improving legal donations while discouraging the trade of organs in the black market.

Notably, the world is on the right path. Policies have been introduced across the world to legalize donation of human organs rather than selling them because of the increasing number of people in need of organ transplant. However, the high levels of poverty among citizens especially people from developing countries force them to sell organs to wealthy recipients. Additionally, the analysis reveals the high demand for organs exceeding the supply as a primary cause of rising illegal human organ trade. Finally, the growth of the black market has led to more people engaging in the illicit trade for human organs. The demand for human organs (liver and kidney) is expected to rise in the future. Therefore, governments should c...

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