Selling Body Parts

Length: 5 Pages 1134 Words

After reading through the New York Times, an editorial entitled “Psst! Sell Your Kidney” caught my attention. It was published on November 12, 2002. The author of the article was Nicholas Kristof, a well respected writer known for writing about controversial subjects. The article argues that exchanging money for organs can benefit everyone. The main claim is to persuade the reader that there should be some sort of financial incentive with organ donation. The article begins with an anecdote. Then it works its way through statistics and moral issues to give the reader a better understanding of the argument. While the whole concept of paying for organs sounds “morally bankrupt,” as many as 17 people die each day waiting on the never-ending list. According to Kristof, the debate on this issue has caused quite a stir in the medical community, and by the time the problem is resolved it’ll have killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War. Kristof’s editorial targets the reader who does not hold a definitive viewpoint on the topic at hand. The main reason why the American public has not considered the issue is because it is unethical and borders on the role of playing G-d. This editorial sheds a new light on putting Continue...


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This new light helped me see a whole new side of the patients as well as the donors' families. The ethics dilemma is so important in this case because ethics is what's keeping the problem from being solved. The anecdote is that of a 68-year-old retired school teacher who is waiting on the list for a new kidney, while being hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a day. Kristof uncovers that the medical community has been "coming around. This puts your family in the predicament of whose life is more important to save. Finally, the ethos appeal is whether it is ethical to exchange money for organs. When it comes down to a life or death situation a normal human being will do anything they can to survive. If you think about it, the transplant patient or insurance company pays the doctor who performs the operation, the anesthesiologist who makes it bearable, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drugs, and any number of other parties who provide goods and services to make the transplant possible. Then imagine being faced with "family pressure to hand over a kidney to a childless cousin, while you yourself have four children who need you.... It appealed to all senses while uncovering new information about the economic world of organ donation. None of the aforementioned parties perform their work solely out of well-intentioned concern for the health of the patient. So the only logical thing would be to do the same for the donors' families. Kristof proposes an offer 2,000 or so of the funeral costs of anyone who has contributed organs.

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