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Document Details :
Title: Handel in organen als oplossing voor het tekort?
Subtitle: De argumenten pro en contra overwogen en gewogen
Author(s): VAN REUSEL, Walter , SCHOTSMANS, Paul
Volume: 68 Issue: 2 Date: 2007
The shortage of available organs for transplantation, organ tourism and illegal kidney transplantations put the question of paid organ donation and commercialism high on the agenda. Ethicists as J. Radcliffe-Richards and R.Veatch have reopened the debate. Therefore it is necessary and useful to check the main arguments pro and con. The advocates of paid organ donation refer to autonomy and pragmatic considerations. Why not regulate an ineradicable practice? The opponents rely on the dignity and integrity of the human body and on justice. They are afraid of exploitation of the poor. A thorough analysis of the debate reveals that the arguments pro and con are incompatible and that the ethical debate leads nowhere. Furthermore, paid organ donation will stimulate the instrumentalisation and commodification of the human body. It brings about a further medicalisation of society where the wishes of the patient and the ‘cure’ prevails over the ‘care’, prevention of organ failure and scientific research (xenotransplantation, stemcells,…). On the basis of the ethical impasse and especially on the basis of these implicit sociological considerations we make a plea against paid organ donation. Altruistic donation and solidarity must remain the basis of organ transplantation. Solidarity is fed by charity (Christianity) and fraternity (Enlightment), the two great sources of western culture and morality. These also must remain the basic inspiration of medicine in general and of organ transplantation in particular.