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Discussing, and writing about the donation and sale of human organs.

1. You will be researching, discussing, and writing about the donation and sale of human organs. To assist you in the research, the lectures and supplemental readings provide different perspectives on this complex and controversial topic. Please use the “Resource List” (see attachment) document to find and read articles about the sale of human organs.
After you have read about this topic, identify and discuss in 100-125 words one potential cause for this phenomenon.

2. Throughout this course, you will be researching, discussing, and writing about the donation and sale of human organs. To assist you in the research, the lectures and supplemental readings provide different perspectives on this complex and controversial topic. Please use the “Resource List” document to find and read articles about the sale of human organs.
After you have read about this topic, identify and discuss in 100-125 words one potential cause for this phenomenon.

3. A potential definition argument centers on whether a prisoner can voluntarily donate organs. Prisoners and human rights advocates might disagree about what voluntary donation means: Is organ donation voluntary if prisoners receive the same counseling as donors outside of the prison system, or is it only voluntary if a person is not facing death (in this case, not on death row)? If someone were to develop this argument, they would define voluntary and then explain how a particular case such as Christian Longo’s matches their definition of voluntary. What do you think about this issue? What does voluntary mean to you, and under what circumstances would inmates in our prison system be voluntarily offering to donate their organs? At what point do you think they would be involuntarily signing up to donate organs?

4. Read “Legalizing the Organ Trade?” by Ritter, located on the Time website.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1833858,00.html
As noted in Peter Ritter’s (2008) “Legalizing the Organ Trade?”, Singapore’s health minister, Khaw Boon Wan, argued that “We may be able to find an acceptable way to allow a meaningful compensation for some living, unrelated kidney donors, without breaching ethical principles or hurting the sensitivities of others” (Ritter, 2008). You might ask yourself: What constitutes “meaningful compensation” for an organ donor, especially if the donor is poor and the recipient is wealthy? What examples of human organ sales can you find that match or do not match your definition of “meaningful compensation”?

5. Dr. Francis Delmonico believes that even a regulated human organ trade would be exploitative because “It’s the poor person who sells” (Meckler, 2007). Do you agree that allowing a poor person to sell an organ is an exploitative practice? Why or why not? What examples from real-life organ donors can you provide that help you demonstrate how a regulated human organ trade would be (or not be) exploitative?

6. Do you think the human organ trade should be legal or illegal, depending on your perspective? How do human organs compare (or not compare) with other types of commodities especially those that have some degree of legal restrictions such as prescription medicine?