Organ trafficking is the trade in human body parts or organs for transplantation. Organ harvesting involves a surgical process or removing body tissue, organ or any other part of the human body for transplantation. Organ harvesting has been a controversial issue which has spackled an ethical debate. For many years, it has been regarded as an illegal activity and therefore highly regulated. However, due to the increasing diseases resulting from organ failure in some people, the demand for organ transplantation has been on the rise. In the United States, as at 2011, there was a demand for up to 90,000 transplants, and individuals had to wait for at least three and a half years before a transplant was available for them (Sanal 79). Due to this high demand of organs worldwide, the black market and commercial trade of body organs have led to criminal acts of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. Patients from developed countries travel to less developed countries to buy organs from poor and uneducated individuals who view selling their organs as an avenue to financial gains and thus better living. Organ transplantation has saved many lives compelling many countries all over the world to legalize organ trade.
Today, organ transplantation has become an acceptable healthcare practice although it is highly regulated. The world health organization has banned organ commercialization and requires organ donation to be a compassionate act rather than a business. Nevertheless, there exists some legalization of organ harvesting which is aimed at promoting the safety of the donors and recipients as well as avoiding black markets. Legalization limits the people who can donate and who can receive the organ donation. Legalized markets protect both the donor and recipient contrary as it would be on the black market (Greenberg, Goldberg and Rodriguez-Arias 95). In legalized markets, the required post-operative care is given to the donors and recipients. In a legalized market, donors are not susceptible to traffickers tricks and conman ship.
The American Living Organ Donor Network is an example of a charity organization whose major role is to give support-both emotional and financial to the living donors from the time they agree to donate their body organs throughout their recovering journey from post donation health and psychological issues (Bramstedt and Down 53). In collaboration with the center for ethical solutions whose mandate is to solve organ shortage crisis, the two organizations have come up with a project dubbed stop organ trafficking now. The project seeks to: promote a safe condition for American Organ donors; bring to an end illegal organ harvesting by providing a platform for Americans to help each other.
Crime prevention strategies aim at avoiding crime occurrences while crime control seeks to restrain, supervise and incapacitate criminals. The American living organ donor network emphasize on the use of legislative measures combined with other mechanisms in preventing and controlling the illegal organ trade in black markets. The organization aims at eliminating black market through legalization of organ trade to encourage organ trade that is done under the legal procedures that protect both the donor and the recipient from criminal acts related to organ trafficking (Sanal 56). Legislative measures in crime control lengthen incarceration imprisonments, notify the public of criminals who might be residing in their neighborhoods, and expand and include organ trafficking in the list of state crimes which qualify capital punishment.
According to sociologists, crimes are not expected to end any time regardless of prevention and control interventions since they are a social phenomenon (Kubrin and Stucky 23). Also, there are very few offenders that are taken courts or imprisoned since most crimes are not reported. Imprisonment that is reached upon through a judicial system aims at rehabilitating, punishing the criminals and in turn give justice to the victims. Strong and harsher penalties for criminals would be effective to control and prevent crimes especially the major ones such as organ trafficking. The American living organ donor network should encourage the lawmakers to enact harsh laws that discourage organ trafficking and at the same time come up with laws legalizing organ trade under specified conditions that protect the donors and recipients.
Bramstedt, Katrina A, and Rena Down. The Organ Donor Experience: Good Samaritans and the Meaning of Altruism. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2011. Print.
Greenberg, Rebecca A, Aviva M. Goldberg, and David Rodriguez-Arias. Ethical Issues in Pediatric Organ Transplantation. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016. Print.
Kubrin, Charis E, and Thomas D. Stucky. Introduction to Criminal Justice: A Sociological Perspective. , 2013. Print.
Sanal, Aslihan. New Organs Within Us: Transplants and the Moral Economy. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 2011. Print.
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