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Title: Human Organ Donation and Sales

Dominica Thomas

Professor Jill Mountain

Grand Canyon University

September 20, 2023


Organ transplantation has transformed modern medicine and given hope to innumerable people who need life-saving treatments. However, the moral challenge surrounding the practice of selling organs has sparked a heated and continuous debate. The goal of this essay is to develop a thorough definition of the term “organ sales” in the context of this argument. The term “organ sales” covers a wide range of complicated concerns, including moral dilemmas surrounding the commercialization of human life as well as the ethical and legal challenges related to this practice. By breaking down these components, this essay will shed light on the complex nature of organ sales and provide an understanding of its effects on society, justice, and human dignity.

Defining Organ Sales

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2022), “Organ sales” refers to the contentious practice of trading human organs such as kidneys, livers, and lungs for cash. In this controversial exchange, people either freely or involuntarily donate their essential organs, which are then transplanted into patients who are in need. The exchange of organs, the involvement in financial transactions, and the donor’s consent or lack thereof are the important components of this definition. Both the legal, controlled marketplaces where donors are paid for their organs and the illegal, black markets, which are characterized by exploitation and a lack of regulation, are where this practice is practiced.

Exploitative Nature of Organ Sales

Organ sales’ exploitative aspect, which has its roots in socioeconomic inequalities and the severe lack of organs available for transplantation, is the primary criterion for comprehending them. Organ sales force poor people, who make up a large portion of vulnerable populations, to sell their important organs for a fraction of what they are actually worth.

Commercialization of Human Life

The commercialization of human life is the second factor to consider while analyzing organ sales. Organ commodification and product sales create moral questions concerning the value of human life and the possibility of misuse.

Legal and Ethical Challenges

The third factor to consider while studying organ sales is the moral and legal issues that this practice raises. Informed consent, autonomy, and the possibility of exploitation are all complicated issues that come up in the discussion of whether organ sales should be made legal.



United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2022). Data.



Definition Argument Essay Assignment


Write a

1,500-1,750-word essay


five to seven academic resources

in which you argue that a contested


fits (or does not fit) within a given category

. Follow the directions of your instructor as to what topics are acceptable.


Follow these steps when composing your essay:

1. Start by selecting a controversial or contested definitional case.

2. Decide what category you think your case belongs in, with the understanding that others may disagree with you about the definition of your category, and/or whether your chosen case matches your category.

3. In the opening of your essay, introduce the case you will examine and pose your definition question. Do


simply summarize here. Instead, introduce the issue and offer context.

4. To support your argument, define the boundaries of your category (criteria) by using a commonly used definition or by developing your own extended definition.

Defining your boundaries

simply means naming the criteria by which you will discuss your chosen case.

5. In the second part of your argument (the match), show how your case meets (or does not meet) your definition criteria. Perhaps by comparing or sizing up your controversial case to other cases can help you to develop your argument.

This essay is


simply a

persuasive essay

. It is an argumentative essay where the writer explains what a term means and uses a specific case to explore the meaning of that term in depth.

First Draft Grading

· You will receive completion points for the first draft based upon the successful submission of a complete draft.

· Because your first draft is a completion grade, do not assume that this grade reflects or predicts the final grade. If you do not consider your instructor??s comments, you may be deducted points on your final draft.

Final Draft Grading

The essay will be graded using a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations.


· Include in-text citations and a references page in

APA Style



scholarly sources outside of class texts.

· These sources should be used to support any claims you make and should be present in the text of the essay.

· Use the GCU Library to help you find sources.

· Include this research in the paper in a scholarly manner.


Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the

APA Style Guide

, located in the

Student Success Center



· You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

· Please be sure your LopesWrite score is at an acceptable level before submitting the draft to your instructor.

© 2021. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.



Topic: Human Organ Donation and Sales

Resource List

Below is a list of relevant websites that will help with your research. You are encouraged to find additional sources on your own.

· United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2022). Data.


· Kidney Shortage Inspires A Radical Idea: Organ Sales


· Health Resources & Services Administration. (2020). Organ donation and transplantation.


· Health Resources & Services Administration (n.d.). Religion and organ donation.


· Alhawari, Y., Verhoff, M. A., Ackermann, H., & Parzeller, M. (2020). Religious denomination influencing attitudes towards brain death, organ transplantation and autopsy–a survey among people of different religions.

International Journal of Legal Medicine, 134

(3), 1203


· Carmack, H. J., & DeGroot, J. M. (2020). Communication apprehension about death, religious group affiliation, and religiosity: Predictors of organ and body donation decisions.

Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, 81

(4), 627??647.


· Donate Life: “Organ Donation Statistics”


· “Howstuffworks: How Organ Donations Works”


· “Statistic Brain: Organ Donor Statistics”


· Organdonor.gov


· “The Sale of Human Organs”


The following is a list of readings that will assist you in gathering information for your essays.

Read “Black Market for Body Parts Spreads Among the Poor in Europe,” by Bilefsky, from

The New York Times,(


Read “Kidney Shortage Inspires A Radical Idea: Organ Sales,” by Meckler, from

The Wall Street Journal



Read “Legalizing the Organ Trade?” by Ritter, from




Read “The ‘Spare Parts Person’? Conceptions of the Human Body and Their Implications for Public Attitudes Towards Organ Donation and Organ Sale,” by Schweda & Schicktanz.

Philosophy, Ethics, And Humanities In Medicine



Read “Why Should They Die?,” by Forbes, from




Read “Organs for Sale,” by Satel, from




Read “Unnecessary Deaths,” by Forbes, from




Read “Organs Without Borders,” by Scheper-Hughes, from

Foreign Policy



Read “Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts,” by Bard, from

Journal Of Health Politics, Policy & Law

(2008). https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=29419413&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Read “Gifts of the Heart?¦and Other Tissues: Legalizing the Sale of Human Organs and Tissues,” by Boyer, from

Brigham Young University Law Review



Read “An Evaluation of Financial Incentive Policies for Organ Donations in the United States,” by Wellington & Sayre, from

Contemporary Economic Policy



Read “Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations,” by Becker & Elías, from

Journal Of Economic Perspectives



Read “Organ Donation: A Significant Marketing Challenge,” by Clarke, from

Health Marketing Quarterly



Read “Dollars for Donors,” by Montgomery, from

Indiana Lawyer



Read “Organ Transplantation: Is the Best Approach a Legalized Market or Altruism?” by Clemmons, from

Journal Of Healthcare Management



Additional References:

Included below is a list of additional articles that can be found in the GCU library.

· Bakdash, T. & Scheper-Hughes, N. (2006). Is it ethical for patients with renal disease to purchase kidneys from the world’s poor? PLoS Medicine, 3(10), 1699-1702.

· Barsoum, R. (2008). Trends in unrelated-donor kidney transplantation in the developing world. Pediatric Nephrology, 23, 1925-1929.

· Campion-Vincent, V. (2002). Organ theft narratives as medical and social critique. Journal of Folklore Research, 39(1), 33-50.

· Capaldi, N. (2000). A Catholic perspective on organ sales. Christian Bioethics: Non-ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality, 6(2), 139-151.

· Cohen, I. G. (2012). Can the government ban organ sale? Recent court challenges adn the future of U. S. law on selling human organs and other tissue. American Journal of Transplantation, 12, 1983-1987.

· Interlandi, J. (2009). Not just urban legend. Newsweek, 153(3), 41-45.

· Kelly, E. (2013). International organ trafficking crisis: solutions addressing the heart of the matter. Boston College Law Review, 54, 1317-1349.

· Matas, A. (2004). The case for living kidney sales: rationale, objections, and concerns. American Journal of Transplantation, 4, 2007-2017.

· Park, A. & Dockterman, E. (2012). Cells for sale. Time, 180(3), 22.

· Pessemier, E. A., Bemmaor, A. C. & Hanssens, D. M. (1977). Willingness to supply human body parts: some empirical results. Journal of Consumer Research, 4(3), 131-140.

· Rivera-Lopez, E. (2006). Organ sales and moral distress. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 23(1), 41-52.

· Wong, M. (2007). Kidneys online. People, 67(12), 127-128.

© 2013. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved.



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