The donation of organs have saved the lives of many people in America each year. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight desperate human lives. A majority of organs donations only take place after the organ donor is pronounced dead. After this, the organ is then taken from the donor and placed in the waiting patient. These donations are given out of the kindness of people’s hearts, and the debate on whether or not this is fair is a complicated one. There are lots of pros and cons to being compensated for donated organs. In today’s world, families are not being compensated for their family member’s organs that are saving the lives of people. Unfortunately, there are not enough donors for every patient who is in need of an organ. As of 2015, there are 119,362 on the waiting list and only 15,947 donors. This means that a lot of lives are lost due to the fact that there are not anywhere near enough donors in the world. In order to motivate more people to get on the donor list, I believe that there should be some type of compensation for the donor’s family after they give their organs. Compensating donors would increase the amount of donors, therefore allowing more lives to be saved. There are a few possible solutions to this, each having their pros and cons. If we push for more donors by providing financial incentives, more lives could be saved everyday.
The world’s current approach to acquiring organs depends on the kindness and generosity people and their decision to become an organ donor. Unfortunately, the rate of consent for donating organs and the amount of patients in need of a transplant are not equal. As a result of this, some parts of society are pushing for some form of financial incentive for the living donors/families of the deceased donors. Francis L. Delmonico, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a professor of surgery, suggests four possible methods of methods of compensation for the donor and their families. “A financial incentive for deceased organ donation could be accomplished by the following approaches: (1) a direct payment for organs, (2) an income tax or estate benefit, (3) a reimbursement for funeral expenses, and (4) a contribution to a charitable organization determined by the family or the deceased” (Delmonico 1). Delmonico’s ideas are smart and really have the potential to motivate more people to become donors because, as he states, “An inverse relationship between financial incentives that would be acceptable by the ethical methods (eg, a contribution to a charity chosen by the family or a reimbursement for funeral expenses) and those approaches that would most likely increase the rate of donation (eg, direct payment or tax incentive) was evident”. Does the evidence I’ve cited prove conclusively that if financial incentives were provided, the amount of consenting donors would drastically improve? Delmonico’s methods of compensation are not only going straight to the family of the donor. The money could be used for a greater cause, like donating to a charity of the families choice. The donor would be donating his/her organs to save the life of up to eight people, and their kind action would be thanked graciously.
There are those who oppose the ideas of medical professionals such as Dr. Delmonico. Those who are against it come from around the world, such as places like the UK, who say, “ the notion of organ donation as a ‘gift’ is highly valued” (Adair & Wigmore 1). The con side of this debate has many valid points as to why providing financial incentives would be a bad idea. Some of these arguments are the idea of compensation could influence the family to prematurely withdraw care from their family member, or cause them to hide medical information that would later cause donor diseases (infections or malignancy), or it could even cause society to begin viewing human organs as a commodity. The National Kidney Foundation, a voluntary health organization that is stationed in New York City, is one of the groups who are very against the idea of payment for organs. The group claims that “Offering direct or indirect economic benefits in exchange for organ donation is inconsistent with our values as a society. Any attempt to assign a monetary value to the human body, or body parts, either arbitrarily, or through market forces, diminishes human dignity” (NKF 1). While I do agree that the idea of compensating people for their organs can be seen as degrading to human society, it has been proven to show that rewards will push for more donors. These compensations would help families, and along with that, lives would be saved because of the amount of donors.
Organs are one of the most crucial part of the functioning human body, and sometimes, they fail us; however, with the advancements and technology that science has brought us today, these failing organs can be replaced with ease and the patient can move on with their life. Unfortunately, the amount of patients who are in need of organs and the amount of people who are willing to donate their organs after they die (only few organs can be given while the donor is still alive) never match up correctly. The central goal of the idea to compensate for organs is to attempt to get the number of patients and donors just about equal, and to accomplish that, the number of donors must increases dramatically. If people or their families are paid for their kind donations, it is a possibility that it would inspire them to help humans live a long and hopeful life.