The question whether the sale of human organs like kidney be legalised to tide over the mis-match between demand and supply stares us in the face. Express your views on the subject.
The human organ transplant act, 1994 directs that only close relatives like son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister and spouse can donate organs. Under no circumstance is the sale/purchase of kidneys or other organs from strangers, acquaintances, friends and the like allowed and any violation of the law can land both the seller and the recipient into serious trouble. Despite the Act, many scandals involving doctors, middlemen have come to light where some unsuspecting poor persons were hoodwinked to sell their kidneys and then left to suffer the consequences. The illegal trade in human organs, especially in kidneys, has been going on under the nose of authorities for quite some time now. The time has come to seriously ponder over the proposition of legalising the sale of human organs.
Rightly or otherwise, the legalising the sale/purchase of human organs merits serious consideration. This would not only save innumerable lives but also protect poor people who are being exploited.
The apprehension that legalising the trade in human organs might encourage unethical medical practices, legitimise middlemen and lead to open exploitation of the poor is not without some valid ground. Those in favour of the proposition argue that saving life should come first even if it involves payment. There is no denying that most donors donate blood voluntarily but there are some who sell their blood as well. In order to reduce and overcome the mismatch between demand and supply of organs, something like legalising the sale with enough safeguards to prevent cross commercialisation and protect the interests of both recipients and donors will have to be seriously considered. Many precious lives can be saved if people are motivated to donate organs, but they will come forward only if an efficient and responsible regulatory network exists.