11.07.2019 in Health

The Black Market of Organ Transplants


The problems of poverty and organ transplants in developing countries are very serious. A large number of individuals are involved in his process and have to suffer its inevitable consequences. My position is that the effective solution of the major issues related to organ transplants should consist of the following two elements. The first one is the close cooperation between the government and non-government organizations of both developed and developing countries. Currently, the efforts of governments and NGOs are not well-integrated, and the overall efficiency of measures is low. The second one is developing the relevant programs for increasing the standards of living in Bangladesh and other developing countries. When people enjoy the decent economic conditions, they can make rational choices that correspond to their interests rather than participate in the donation of organs out of necessity. This paper includes the background of the problem; defining the key terms used in the analysis; supporting the outlined position with the relevant arguments. Reliable sources will be used for justifying the proposed solution. The potential objection to my argument and the response will be provided. In general, the above two elements can allow diminishing the problem of organ transplants to the minimum possible level.


The current situation in Bangladesh and other developing countries is highly disturbing. The reason is that the majority of the population in these countries experiences the unprecedentedly low standards of living. Thus, they are unable to satisfy even the basic physiological needs. As a result, many people have to sell their organs to obtain at least some income (Michigan State University, 2013). Although they realize that it is associated with considerable risks for their health, they do not have any decent alternatives. As this market is illegal, many donors face additional risks. For example, some of them do not even receive the amount of money promised.
Another problem refers to the fact that the current situation does not tend to improve in the near future. The developed countries are not highly interested in solving these problems because the largest fraction of organ buyers is from the developed countries. As the demand for organs is very high, the black market emerges inevitably. However, the rights of people from developing countries are unprotected, and they do not receive any guarantees of minimizing the potentially negative impact on their health as well as obtaining the fair remuneration for providing their organs. Moreover, the population in Bangladesh and other countries continues to increase rapidly, and the food and other shortages can even increase. Thus, if no radical reforms are initiated, such practices may even become more widespread in the future.

Key Terms

It is reasonable to define several key terms that are important in justifying the advocated international policy. The first relevant term is organ transplantation. It refers to the moving of the donor’s organ to the recipient’s body for replacing his/her organ (Heinbokel et al, 2013). The issue of organ transplantation is very difficult as it includes numerous related ethical aspects. On the one hand, many individuals need organ transplants for their survival. Moreover, the sufficient number of people agrees to supply their organs voluntarily if they receive the fair remuneration. On the other hand, the existence of the black market leads to the situation when the rights of many donors from developing countries are violated systematically. Moreover, their difficult economic conditions do not allow claiming that their decisions are completely voluntary.
The second relevant term is informed consent. It refers to the formalized process of receiving the permission from a patient before initiating any healthcare intervention (Veatch, Haddad, & English, 2009). Although informed consent is important in various health-related situations, it is also highly relevant in relation to organ transplantation. The donor should understand the corresponding risks and be able to make rational and responsible decisions. Only when all these requirements are met, the organ transplantation can be initiated.
The third relevant term is international cooperation. It refers to a set of practices introduced at the international level by several governments and/or non-government organizations (NGOs) for solving some mutual problems (Morales, 2013). The current global world requires intensifying the international cooperation among countries in different fields. In this way, the ultimate results can be much higher than if the governments and NGOs acted in isolation from one another. It seems that the problem of organ transplantations requires a very intense cooperation between governments and NGOs because the donors and recipients are often from different countries. Moreover, it is necessary to provide additional legal guarantees for donors and protect their basic rights. A more effective international cooperation may also allow diminishing health risks for donors. For example, many developed countries may propose their modern infrastructure for donors.

Advocated Position and Supporting Reasoning

Although the current situation is very difficult, and there are numerous negative factors in this context; it seems that the following measures may allow minimizing the scope of the problem and achieve the substantial improvements both in the short and long run. The first measure is intensifying the international cooperation between governments and NGOs in the sphere of organ transplantation. It is necessary to specify the countries with the largest fraction of donors and recipients respectively. They should develop the mutual strategy for addressing the existing risks. In particular, the conditions for donors should be improved substantially. If this objective is achieved, the number of donors in developing countries may increase. Thus, the overall supply of organs may increase.
It is reasonable to achieve the situation when the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded. It will correspond to the state of the long-run equilibrium. It is important because it can allow transforming the current market into a more civilized form. If the existing demand can be satisfied fully with the help of the legal market, the black market for organ transplants may disappear. It will be the substantial achievement as not only organ transplantation but also numerous related issues can be solved effectively. However, only the effective international cooperation is insufficient for addressing the essence of the problem.
It is also highly important to create the favorable economic conditions in developing countries. The cause of many people becoming donors is not their humane motives to help others but the attempts to obtain at least some income. Moreover, the dealers of the black market recognize the disadvantaged situation of these people and offer low sums of money for their services. In some cases, they do not even pay the negotiated amount (Michigan State University, 2013). Therefore, the substantial improvement of economic conditions is necessary. If the standards of living in developing countries increase, many people can become financially independent and can be able to make rational choices.
In order to achieve the desired economic growth in developing countries, it is necessary to encourage the integration of these countries into the general economic system. Currently, the heavy protectionist policies are used in many African and Asian countries. However, they do not lead to the positive results because these countries cannot use the potential opportunities associated with the cheap workforce. If many developing countries are integrated into the global economic system, they can increase their exports and use the economic strategy of China. The growing economic standards will lead to the implicit but strong impact on people’s involvement in the market for organ transplants.

Additional Support from Academic Sources

It is reasonable to demonstrate that the advocated position is consistent with the latest theoretical achievements and studies. Morales (2013) supports establishing the international centers for controlling the use of organ transplants as well as preventing any potential crimes in this field. The author stresses that tissue banks and organ transplant organizations should coordinate their efforts to control the entire process closely. Hospitals, research medical institutions, and universities should also participate in this process. All stages of organ transplantation should be open for investigation by independent parties. Morales (2013) proposes to introduce a coding and traceability system. It can identify any tissues and organs, and the distribution of organs and tissues may become more objective and just. The scholar stresses that these problems cannot be addressed at the national or regional levels. They require the effective international cooperation (Morales, 2013). It will be beneficial for donors and recipients as well as for scientific purposes.
Kunnanatt (2013) examines the problems related to the participation of developing countries in the current processes of globalization. The author shows that their current involvement is low, and it does not allow promoting their economic growth. He proposes to use the global participation model for determining the potential competitive advantage present in various developing economies. The necessary reforms can be encouraged through the properly designed political and economic policies at the global level. The author believes that the emerging business chain may serve as an element for maximizing the participation of developing countries in the global economic affairs (Kunnanatt, 2013). In the beginning, developing countries can specialize only on providing raw materials and performing labor-intensive functions. Gradually, they can shift towards more capital-intensive industries. Therefore, the effective participation in the global economy can be beneficial for all parties involved.
The economic growth experienced by developing countries will lead to the growing standards of living of their population. It will allow people not to depend on the black market dealers and make their own independent decisions. If some individuals are interested in helping others and are ready to accept the corresponding health risks, they may still donate their tissues. However, these decisions will be voluntary and not be caused by the need for obtaining at least some earnings for one’s survival.
In general, the above sources fully support the proposed strategy. The experts also believe that the close international cooperation is necessary for addressing the causes and consequences of the problem of organ transplantation. The process should become clear and subject to investigation by independent parties. The rights of all individuals involved (especially donors) should be protected closely. The recommendation regarding the involvement of developing countries into the global economic process is also supported. It may be expected that developing countries will increase their economic potential and well-being of their citizens. Thus, both the needs for encouraging international cooperation and promoting economic growth in developing countries are supported.

Potential Objections to Proposed Solution and Response

Although the above solution and arguments seem to be well-justified, it is reasonable to provide the potential objectives to them. The first objective may relate to the fact that the interests of developed and developing countries are often antagonistic (Morales, 2013). As many customers are from developed countries, they are not interested in increasing the standards of living in developing countries and the potential reduction of the organs supply. It may lead to the higher market prices for organs and tissues. Therefore, the citizens of developed countries are interested in maintaining the current black market.
Although this objection contains some rational elements, it is incorrect. The following response can be provided. The ultimate impact on the prices for tissues and organs is uncertain. On the one hand, the supply of organs may decline as people from developing countries will have other alternatives for obtaining income. On the other hand, the supply may increase as additional legal guarantees will emerge. Moreover, even despite the dynamics of the market supply, the black market will disappear. It means that the market prices may decline as the market uncertainty declines. Therefore, the interests of developed and developing countries are not antagonistic. The citizens of all countries are interested in the proper guarantees and protection for all individuals involved.
The second potential objection refers to the position that many international organizations are inflexible and unable to provide timely and effective responses to various social and economic challenges (Morales, 2013). In other words, these organizations will be unable to enforce the proper implementation of the adopted policies. The members of the black market will be able to avoid all restrictions and continue obtaining their illegal profits. This objection also contains some rational elements, but its implications are incorrect. It is correct that the majority of attention should be paid not only to developing policies but their proper implementation. Moreover, the political systems of many developing countries are subject to corruption. Thus, people participating in the black market schemes can lobby their interests effectively. However, it is possible to change the existing state of affairs.
For this purpose, it is possible to use the services of many NGOs that are much more flexible than intergovernmental organizations. It is possible to use the potential of NGOs in two different ways. Firstly, they may implement the adopted policies at the local level. Secondly, they can contribute to a more objective control over the realization of policies and even create the objective information center that includes the data about all actual and potential donors and recipients. Thus, it is evident that the above objections are incorrect, and the proper implementation of the above strategies will inevitably lead to the desired results.


It may be concluded that the current situation in Bangladesh and many developing is unsatisfactory. The standards of living are very low. Thus, many people have to participate in supplying their organs for transplantation purposes. Although it is associated with considerable risks for their health, they do not have any decent alternatives. As the population in many developing countries continues to grow, the radical reforms in this sphere are needed to reverse the existing negative tendency. These reforms should consist of the following two major elements. The first one is establishing the international cooperation in this sphere with the help of national governments and non-government organizations. It may allow solving those problems that are beyond the responsibility of any single government or organization. The second one is improving the economic situation in developing countries. As a result, people from these countries will obtain additional economic opportunities for receiving incomes in different ways. Thus, their potential decision of participating in organ transplantation will be completely voluntary. The establishing of the well-developed legal market for organ transplants will allow minimizing health-related risks for all individuals involved as well as providing the legal protection of individual rights. In general, the simultaneous implementation of both aspects of the proposed reforms will lead to the maximum possible effect.

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