ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

The USA has more than 150,000 on the transplant waiting list at any given time and yet only about 15,000 of them end up receiving the lifesaving organs. This implies that as much as 90% of persons in the transplant list end up not receiving the required organs. As many as 22 patients die every day because of medical conditions that could have been alleviated through receiving transplant organs. This state of affairs has been blamed on low organ donations and shortage of donors. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that the USA has legislation in place that makes selling organs illegal. In fact, many countries have such legislations. This has created a unique situation in that is only expected to worsen if organ donations are not increased since the current demand greatly outweighs the supply (Flescher, 2018; Kaserman & Barnett, 2002). As such, there is a need for the USA to develop more aggressive strategies for procuring transplant organs.

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It is estimated that as much as 85% of the American population is ready to donate their organs. However, they are not well informed of their options and most of them end up dying without making the decision to become donors. Through publicity campaigns that inform potential donors about the ability to save a life and extend life through donating organs. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay. They can be made to understand that as much as 80% of the people on the waiting list will not get the lifesaving organs, and making the donations even in death could save lives. The publicity campaigns should be conducted in a manager that appeals to the heart and altruistic nature of potential donors, ending up making them feel compelled to make the donations (Flescher, 2018). To be more precise, the current publicity approaches must be faulted since they are typically applied in the emergency room when a potential donor is in critical condition or brain dead. In fact, the publicity can be considered insensitive since it is conducted at a time when family and loved ones are facing emotional turmoil over the loss of a loved. It is not surprising that most family members will refuse to donate the organs of a loved on when approached at a time of grief (Goodwin, 2006). ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

Rather than waiting until the potential donor is in critical condition, the publicity campaigns should be targeted at healthy individuals. This would allow the potential donors enough time to consider their choices and make rational decisions that play to their altruistic nature. Indeed, most donors are galvanized by the idea of continuing to live on through the organ recipients even after death so that someone will always be thankful to them for saving a life (Veatch & Ross, 2015).

It is evident that how to attract organ donors remains a concern in the USA. Most of the public is uninformed about the form and how to make donations. The public typically associated organ donations with living donors, and most are unaware that they could still donate some of their organs even after death. The government has tried to address this concern through creating an opt-in system that allows individuals to donate their organs upon death. This entails the donors registering in the national organ donor registry with the information indicated in the driver’s license. They registry has captured 28% of the US population, a commendable achievement that unfortunately has done very little to address the 90% organ shortage. Addressing the large gap between supply and demand of organs requires more radical thinking to include a first person-authorization consent that makes the intent to become a posthumous donor legally binding as an advance directive or living will (Tsouflas, 2018). ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

The fact is that organ donations are at very low levels. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the prohibition on organ trade and sale, or even consider introducing incentives. Although these options create opportunities for ethical abuse, the reality is that the current trends do not spell well for organ donations. While the US is still struggling with the potential for organ trade and sale being abused to exploit the poor, other countries such as Iran have successfully launched activities ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay. Kidney sales average approximately $1,200 per organ in Iran. The result is a significant increase in supply to match demand with an ever present reserve so that the possibility of shortage is eliminated. Taken as a business activity, organ trade in Iran now conforms to the business principles of supply and demand with significant protections to eliminate the possibility of abuse (Fry-Revere, 2014; Satel, 2008).

With the high number of deaths of persons in organ transplant waiting list in the USA and the favorable organ trade results in Iran, perhaps it is time that the US legislature seriously considers the possibility of incentivizing organ donation to increase supply. Incentives do not necessarily have to be in the form of direct cash provision as has been the case in Iran. They can be in the form of better life opportunities for the doors, such as paying for future funeral expenses. It is understandable that the US legislature may be resistant to cash exchanges owing to the ethical implications of trade (such as the poor being abused and the perception that human life is for sale), but the reality is that America is hard pressed to increase organ donations and incentives offer a good opportunity (Farrell, Price & Quigley, 2011) ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay.

Another option is the use of an opt-out legislation that automatically turns all Americans into organ donors upon death unless they sign documents to the contrary. Although not used in the USA, the opt-out system is successfully applied in at least 25 European countries. Unlike the USA that relies on altruistic motivations to realize 15% of organ demand being met, countries with the opt-out legislation report figures in excess of 90%. Although it is unclear whether such a system would work in the USA, the present state of affairs creates a situation in which this option must be tried. It is important to note that although an opt-out legislation would increase donation volumes, the increase may not be high since only approximately 2% of deaths occur in controlled environments with oxygenated blood flowing through the organs. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay This means that only 2% of deaths would present viable organs even if an opt-out legislation is applied. Such legislation had previously been proposed in 2014 but was met with significant opposition from capitalist systems that focus more on financial implications and associated profits (Tsouflas, 2018).

Yet another option is to introduce supportive legislation to enhance the opt-in legislation. It is not uncommon for family members to disregard a donor’s wishes and refuse to release organs as the decision does not financially benefit them. The US legislature can address this concern through introduce first-person authorization clause that is legally enforceable so that families disregarding the donors wishes and refusing to release organs can be prosecuted. There is similar legislation in place but it does not adequately address the issue. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay. Brain death first person consent legislation is in place prohibit next of kin from overriding person decisions to donate organs (Flescher, 2018).

However, the legislation is made inadequate by the fact that clinical death is a subjective concept. Some states interpret clinical death as irreversible loss of all brain functions, while other states interpret it as irreversible loss of cardiopulmonary functions. The two interpretations make it possible for next of kin to legally delay or halt organ donation activities by refusing to remove the family member from life support. In such case, the delay could reduce the viability of the donated organs. As such, there is a need for legislation to clarify the human functions that can be used to determine clinical death (Farrell, Price & Quigley, 2011). The ambiguity about what constitutes clinical death is not good for organ donation. Although this would be unsettling for the family members who still have hope of a miracle occurring and their loved ones recovering, the reality is that long delays has an effect on organ viability (Tsouflas, 2018). ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay.

One must accept that America’s altruistic model has failed to match organ supply with demand, and persons in the organ transplant list are left with grim future as most of them do not get the lifesaving organs. 90% of persons in the organ waiting list are unlikely to receive the required organs. The implication is that the organ transplant management systems applied in the USA are lacking and inadequate, and there is a need for changes to increase organ donations so as to address the existing shortfall. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay. Firstly, there is a need for better publicity campaigns that appeal to the public’s altruistic nature and informs them about the available opportunities such as the possibility of making donations when alive and in death. Secondly, introducing incentives, and allowing for organ trade and sales with strict regulations to protect vulnerable populations. Thirdly, introducing opt-out legislation automatically turns all Americans into organ donors upon death unless they sign documents to the contrary. Finally, introducing supportive legislation to enhance opt-in legislation. In this respect, there is a need for the USA to develop more aggressive strategies for procuring transplant organs. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay.

References

Farrell, A., Price, D. & Quigley, M. (ed) (2011). Organ shortage: ethics, law and pragmatism. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Flescher, A. M. (2018). The organ shortage crisis in America: incentives, civic duty, and closing the gap. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

Fry-Revere, S. (2014). The kidney sellers: a journey of discovery in Iran. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Goodwin, M. (2006). Black markets: the supply and demand of body parts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kaserman, D. L. & Barnett, A. H. (2002). The US organ procurement systems: a prescription for reform. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press.

Satel, S. L. (2008). When altruism isn’t enough: the case for compensating kidney donors. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press.

Tsouflas, G. (ed) (2018). Organ donation and transplantation: current status and future challenges. London: IntechOpen.

Veatch, R. M. & Ross, L. F. (2015). Transplantation ethics (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. ENG 106 – Cause and effect of low organ donation in the USA Essay

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