What is more bothersome is the fact that doctors and hospital personnel on the recipient’s side don’t even bother and seemed to be uninterested as to how the organs came into their possession. “Anonymity is a valuable aspect of donated tissue. ” Werner Specht, the head of operation for Biodynamics said (The body-parts trade, 39). He went on to say that his firm goes off on the assumption that all of the body parts they used come to them through legal means and they do not worry regarding its sources.
Whether the sourcing is legal or illegal at all is not their concern. They are just the recipients; the details of the harvest are none of their business. Another example is the China controversy where the obvious lack of laws regarding organ harvesting and the rampant sale underground have been largely ignored by the international human rights bodies. It seemed that China has a much more difficult time passing laws and has the impression to declare that organ transplant is fine as far as their conscience is concerned.
Their philosophy of life based on a Buddhist and/or Taoist religion, probably account for much of what has been happening in this country. China executes more prisoners than the rest of the world combined; thus, in the underground market in China, a large portion of body organs come from executed prisoners. Foreigners pay up to get past the long waiting lists in their home countries. One example of this was a Taiwanese man who paid $35,000 (plus the standard $2,000 doctor’s bribe) for a liver for only a two – day wait (Fang, 34).
A survey conducted of young Chinese people showed that seventy percent of them are willing to sell or “donate” organs (Fang, 34). However, there is no way for them to do this legally right now. Probably, this explains why the rampant illegal harvesting is prevalent. So until China decides to legalize organ transplantation, there are no regulations to stop either morticians or greedy doctors from illegally stealing organs from dead bodies.
When it comes to putting a loved one’s body to rest like opting for the crematorium, many now have to safeguard the bodies of their loved ones for fear of body parts taken, or the possibility of their dead loved one’s body being dismembered. Obtaining consent from the donors has always been a barrier in donations. In 1987 a law was passed, namely the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act that gives presumed consent for dead persons; apparently, this is for the purpose of avoiding the cumbersome task of asking permission from relatives for the body parts.
This presumed consent will allow physicians to no longer need to confront a grieving family with the necessity of making a quick decision about organ donation (Michele Goodwin, 120). Optional policy will allow any individual to indicate on their passports and drivers’ licenses their intentions about donating their organs. However, the safety mechanism of checking the decision with the relatives should minimize the possibility of erroneous interpretation of the dead person’s wishes (Michele Goodwin, 125).
Presumed consent presupposes that the State through the attending physicians should be allowed to decide as to what is necessary, either to harvest or not to harvest the organs. This law contains ethical dilemmas which need to be argued for a reasonable time and a rightful formation of public policy. According to Phillip, there had been many cases when a person arriving in the emergency room was being determined by medics whether they were good as dead and therefore “ripe for the harvest” or not.
What is proper though, is that these professionals should first check a database to see if the person is one of those `ignorant`, ‘uneducated ‘, ‘superstitious fool’ who has elected to cover his own organs (Phillip, 84). The argument goes something like this: If someone is unconscious, why not assume they’re dead, since there’s someone out there whose life perhaps is more useful life and might be saved us a result. Indeed, why not secure the death of these half-dead patients, so to speak? These things are actually happening. Donors were not necessarily dead when their organs were removed.