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I developed this enormous interest in organ transplantation during my health law lectures in 500 level. Yes, Organ transplantation!

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Organ Transplant play

Organ Transplant

(Guardian NewsPaper)

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I developed this enormous interest in organ transplantation during my health law lectures in 500 level. Yes, Organ transplantation is basically the act of transferring organs, tissue/ cells.

So basic, Right? Organ transplantation is really complex. It is of three different types: living transplantation (from living to living), cadaveric transplantation (from dead to living) and xeno transplantation (from animal to man), also implantable artificial organs, all these categories have various ethical issues that tie them down.

Xeno transplantation is one category of organ transplantation that I find very intriguing, but I will talk about this extensively in another post.

First transplantation ever, was in 1823 in Germany and it was the transplantation of skin tissue from one location to another on one individual. The concept of organ transplantation was first conceived in Nigeria in 1980, but did not actualize till 2000. 17 years after the first transplantation in Nigeria, organ transplantation is still significantly dwarfed.

According to WHO, three major issues which must be addressed by international bodies when considering the issue of organ transplantation are Religious Beliefs, Ethics of Organ procurement and the ethics of allocation. In all these, it is important to note that the shortfall of organ transplantation is the Shortage of Donor Organs.

Having laid the above foundation, let’s start dissecting the bone of contention which is the issue of the commercialization of organs in other words, legality of organ sales. Organ sale is an extremely sensitive and troubling topic.

The National Health Act makes the sale of organs illegal in Nigeria. The big question is since we have the Right of Autonomy, shouldn’t it be our sole decision to either give out or sell our organs? There are two schools of thought on the commercialization of organs:

  • The school of thought believe that it will solve the problem of SCARCITY.

  • The school that believe that it will lead to EXPLOITATION OF HUMANS.

Which school of thought do you belong to?

Let’s now look at the arguments for and against organ commercialization, this is another interesting part.

Arguments for Organ Sale.

  • Curb the shortage of donor organs as seen in Iran.

  • Donors of blood, semen, and eggs volunteers for medical trials are often compensated; why not apply same to organs?

  • Poverty alleviation

  •  It is already going on so why not have a controlled trade where it is regulated by government?

  • Right of autonomy

  • Reduction or Elimination of Black Market.

Arguments against organ sale.

  • Exploitation of the poor and the unfair advantages for the rich and powerful, as rampantly seen in India.

  • Significant Increase in crime rate for example: kidnapping, trafficking etc.

  • Organ sale is morally wrong.

  • The poor will not be able to get organs when in need of one.

Based on the above arguments, do you or do you not support the legalization of organ sale in Nigeria?

This post is not so extensive, but then, I hope I gave you satisfactory ground knowledge of organ transplantation and sale, you can send an email to me for more details or better still drop your comments here. Lets gist!


Article written by Nwokeanochie Adaobi.

I am Adaobi, a lifestyle blogger, I love writing, mostly poems and I read a lot of novels, Lawyer in equity, I love nature and its serenity. You can visit www.cravejade.com to see more of me. You will definitely be welcomed to the Jade world.

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