Organ harvesting saves lives
by John Snow on February 16, 2015 - 2:31pm
In a world where medical advancements enable us to save more and more lives, a lot of people are still reluctant to offer their organs after their death to people who really need them to live. Applying a signature to the back of a health insurance card signifies that you allow doctors to harvest organs from your body in order to give them to a person in need, and I think it would be unethical to do otherwise. When using the principle of Utilitarianism while analysing this situation, we can conclude that if one has the possibility to literally prolong the life of another person without harming him or anyone else, the person should do so. The fact that the donor is dead, and therefore cannot feel anything obviously confirms that no one is harmed during the process, and since organs are no longer useful to the deceased, it would be unethical not to share them. I therefore think that everyone should acknowledge that his or her organs could be used to benefit other people in need.
The sad thing is that the number of available human organs decreases each year, and the waiting lists grow longer and longer. This problem is discussed in this academic journal article: Tabarrok, Alexander. "Life-Saving Incentives: Consequences, Costs and Solutions to the Organ Shortage." Library Economics Liberty 3 Aug. 2009. Web. 16 Feb. 2015. <http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2009/Tabarroklifesaving.html>. The author gives clear solutions to the issue while mentioning that a simple increase in deceased donors could contribute a lot to the organ shortage. ‘’The shortage of organs could be greatly alleviated, and eliminated entirely for at least some organs, if more people were to sign their organ donor cards and if more families agreed to donate after the death of a loved one.’’ In China, and also among other places around the world, the organ donations as now become an important problem. As featured in this CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/05/world/asia/china-prisoners-organs/ there is a low donation rate and a lot of people who could have survived are left to die because there are no organs available for them, but this situation is mainly due to different beliefs who restrain people from sharing their organs.
It is however important to acknowledge the beliefs of people who refuse to donate because it is engraved in their culture or their religion. In China, for instance, people may refuse to donate as a matter of respect for their parents who gave them healthy bodies to live with for their whole life. Also, certain religions consider the body as sacred, and think that it should stay untouched even after death. Both of these beliefs make total sense in a spiritual way, but one thing remains in pretty much every culture and religion: helping others is mandatory when you have the resources to do it. Therefore, with a Utilitarian perspective, I think the possibility to prolong another life when yours has come to an end overcomes any other way of seeing the issue, and that should agree to share your organs to people in need after your death.