The researcher of this essay aims to pay special attention to Bruce Gottlieb and his arguments on the apparent necessity of legalizing the selling of kidneys presented in his article “How Much is That Kidney in the Window?”…
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This paper illustrates that Gottlieb was able to provide sufficient evidence that the loss of one kidney does not pose as much health danger as it is being made out to be; recipients of donated kidneys do not really care whether it was sold or given as long as it extends the life of one’s loved one; it would actually be more economical both for the government and all people concerned if kidneys were sold; and, the feared slippery slope disaster that some people for see will not happen in this case because the act of selling kidneys is neither inevitable nor unconscious. Gottlieb first points out that statistics do not support the common notion that the loss of one kidney may lead to a significantly less healthy life for the organ donor. This fact is actually supported by accounts from the website of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), which mentions that people are still able to live a normal life even with one kidney as many people actually donate their kidney to friends or family members. Next, he points out that friends and family members of a person who needs a kidney transplant do not really care much about how the organ was acquired, as long as it is able to save their loved one’s life. And indeed, their perspective on the issue is the most important one to be considered. Surely, family members themselves would give up their own organ for their loved one if and when needed. Unfortunately, the twisted irony of genetic lottery sometimes disqualifies a person’s closest kins and thus leaves the family with a great sense of helplessness. Gottlieb then proceeds to discuss the economic benefits behind the act of kidney selling (Gottlieb). At first glance, it may seem insensitive to discuss the selling of body parts as part of an economic activity but the cold hard facts indicate that such a flow of reasoning cannot be simply ignored. Some researchers have gone to the extent of actually quantifying the economic benefits presented by organ-selling (Kolnsberg). However, with the way things are going in the current economic climate, people are still going to end up dead with two kidneys intact if they are not able to put food on the table. Such a view is supported by Malek, who points out that kidney selling is one’s personal decision and so people should not be prevented from doing something that may be profitable for them, as it is their basic right to a better means of living (Malek). Finally, Gottlieb contradicts the unfounded fear of the slippery-slope phenomenon in the case of kidney-selling (Gottlieb). He stresses that since the act of kidney selling is not inevitable, nor is it unconscious, there is no reason to fear that such a practice will be abused. In fact, this further strengthens the reasons behind specifically legalizing kidney-selling and banning the selling of other body organs that are much more needed to enjoy normal living by a human person. Without such legislation, the act of kidney-selling will remain a dangerous trade and will pose greater danger in people’s lives. As one can see, Gottlieb was able to solidly structure his thoughts and ideas in supporting the stand to legalize the selling of kidneys. By presenting a valid and logical flow of arguments and by stressing that the loss of one kidney does not pose as much health danger as it is being made out to be, recipients of
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