Recently, I prepared this article for a Speech and Debate tryout for Arcadia High School.
I have researched both sides of the issue thoroughly and have come to the conclusion that I stand affirmative for financial incentives for organ donations. And yes, I made it into Arcadia’s Debate team. I hope to continue and grow in knowledge in the years to come. <Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion blog by Emily Zheng, a student at Dana Middle School.> There are two cases for internal organ donations: living and deceased. It has been a fact that everyone in the organ transplant process, other than the donor, is compensated: a fee is charged by the Organ Procurement Organization for organ recovery, a salary is provided to the OPO coordinator who obtains family consent, and a fee is charged for hospitalization by transplant surgeons, physicians, and the transplant center. The altruistic donors have been saving lives for generations – now it’s time for them to be thanked for their generosity.
There can be two ways a financial incentive for organ donation can be accomplished that follow ethical concerns of the National Organ Transplant Act and of others: first, the family can get reimbursement for total funeral expenses or second, the family or donor can choose a charitable organization, like the Red Cross, to donate to. The first option will alleviate the cost for the family of the altruistic donor. The second option will not only help the organ recipient medically and the donor financially, but also the organization itself, allowing a win-win situation. The donor could benefit financially from charitable organization donations because it could be considered for a tax deduction and also possibly “good citizenship.” Not only do donors have these options, but there are also other options. According to the Houston Chronicle from July 27, 2010, Texas enforced a policy that DMV clerks must be required to ask the applying driver if that person would like to donate organs when deceased during the event of an accident. Texas ended up having 70,000 new donors per month. This program is free and ethical.
Currently, more and more people are not donating while hundreds are dying from the lack of transplants. According to the 2006 annual report of the Netherlands Transplant Foundation, 95 out of the 1,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney died because the number of available post-mortem organs fell by 14%. A financial incentive for organ donations is a probable solution to this worldwide issue.