ETH

Topics: Organ transplant, Organ donation, Death Penalty Pages: 4 (462 words) Published: April 12, 2015


Critical Thinking Scenario Reflection

Blood Money

Daniel M. Buricea

ETH/316

09/08/2014

Professor Ryan Busch

In this particular scenario, we are looking at the ethical challenges in transplant medicine which refer to how the organs are procured, distributed and what measures can be taken to resolve these challenges.

In the video presented by ABC News, in China the organ procurement is mostly based on executing prisoners. This fact was confirmed by “Dr. Ronald Gutman, an advisor to the International Transplantation Society says it’s been an open secret among doctors who do transplants that the Chinese military has been selling the kidneys of executed prisoners, perhaps thousands of them since the late 1980’s.”*

In the past little over 30 years, transplant medicine encountered a big challenge, a severe shortage of organs. Unfortunately, organ trafficking and tourism transplant began in response to this challenge. From this point on, organ donation took more of a commercial route, rather than how it was intended. Many times, donors were lured and even coerced to donate organs (mainly kidneys) for cash. Usually the decision to donate organs for cash comes from financial distress of the organ donor who desperately thinks this will help improve their financial situation, without thinking of the recourse and any complications that may emerge from this procedure which can create another financial burden due to a new health risk.

Some may argue, especially in mainland China that prisoners consented to donate their organs and even “voluntarily signed up”* As the reporter mentioned, is a double standard to ask a death row inmate to donate their organs before being executed. In this situation, China has gone beyond gray zone by harvesting organs from executed prisoners, which shows more or less a killing for organs and a contradiction to the mission of today’s medicine. “According to official...
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