Human organs trade refers to an illegal and black market’s dealing with human body parts extracted without permission of a victim. Due to the high demand for illegal human organs, the global demand has more than doubled in the last two decades. The trade is expected to rise as the demand for organ transplantation fails to meet the supply. Traditionally the supply involves the voluntary donation of organs by dying or healthy persons. However, the few voluntary donations cannot satisfy the global market for organs including hearts, kidneys, livers, and sexual organs. Human trafficking has been the major factor leading to the growth of organs trade. Global bodies attempt to force countries to adopt strict penalties but monitoring of the trend has been futile. China and other Middle Eastern nations are the largest suppliers of illegal human organs globally. Human organs trade is illegal in the context that they are illegally extracted from victims and sold.
The article under review is Editorial: Harvest of shame: China should halt the sale of organs from executed prisoners by Columbus Dispatch. China is conforming to the global pressure to stop the harvesting of body organs from prisoners condemned to death by courts. China argues that the practice only aimed at saving other innocent lives in dire need of the harvested parts. The government also claimed that prisoners and their families were notified of the procedure. The question, in this case, is the following: is it right to harvest body organs forcefully from death inmates? Human organs’ harvesting from prisoners or any other unwilling persons is a criminal offense. China executes prisoners more than any other nation. Chinese Deputy Health Minister defended harvesting citing high demand for body parts and terming the death inmates as the best source. The frisky government regulation has opened the gate for illegal collection with the organs being sold to the highest bidder mainly to the western foreigners.
China lacks clear structures to regulate organ donation. Health reports also indicate that less than 1% of 15 million Chinese in need of organs benefit annually. Amnesty International reported 1,770 executions in China in 2005 out of 2,184 recorded global cases. However, the group indicated that figures from China were biased with the real number as high as 10,000 prisoners. The human rights group indicates the number to be high considering offenses, such as tax fraud and ‘undermining national unity’ warranting a death sentence.
Extraction of organs from prisoners sentenced to death is a crime and must be stopped. A crime constitutes any activity that causes loss, mental or physical harm to a person. Harvesting of human organs from prisoners or any other legally unwilling person is a crime in several contexts. First, the process is conducted forcefully through government direction without consulting the victim. Forceful and unwarranted harvesting of an individual’s body organs is a crime. Second, the prisoners are condemned to death meaning they have the little legal right to decide their fate. Third, the government fails to account for the extracted human organs fueling an illegal organs trade. Innocent people also fall prey to cartels seeking to meet the demand as organs from executed prisoners are not sufficient. Fourth, according to the global human rights’ standards, organ harvesting must be done with the consent of the donor. China clearly indicated that death inmates have no right to their body organs before and after execution. Fifth, harvesting human organs amounts to torture and murder as some of the parts are harvested while the prisoners are still alive. Human organs should be donated voluntary and gifted to needy people free, and the sale of human body organs is immoral.
The global shortage of human organs and low supply have led to a thriving underground market. The trade has generated widespread health disasters, human rights abuse, and global crime. Since voluntary organ donation cannot meet the demand, forceful harvesting from prisoners and innocent people feeds the market. Forceful or unwarranted harvesting of organs from prisoners or innocent people equals murder. The author highlights that human trafficking syndicates are the biggest supplier of human organs to the market. The cartels kidnap innocent people and forcefully extract body parts to meet customer demand. Trafficking in persons and harvesting of body parts are equally illegal, according to the global government’s standards.
Trafficking in persons and also the subsequent organs’ harvesting is the major issue in the United States. All nations, except Iran, recognize harvesting of human body parts as a crime with harsh penalties. Top human organs in demand include kidneys, half-lives, skin, and blood. World health also indicates that more than 20% of 70,000 global kidney transplants come from the underground market. The United States had a demand for 100,000 kidneys in 2008 with estimated 8,000 legal donations annually. The result is a significant shortage and increasing demand in the underground market. Since the demand cannot be met legally, the parts are forcefully harvested from innocent victims making it illegal. Strict regulation in the United States makes China, Africa, and Asian nations the main suppliers of human organs mainly from human trafficking gangs.
An article posted in the America Press, Inc. highlights the part detailing the Pope’s view on human organs trafficking. The Pope terms profiting from human body parts as crime on the legal, religious, and moral ground. The Pope also calls for strict control and regulation over the trend to ensure that innocent people do not end up victims of trafficking gangs. Pope Benedict XVI noted that organ donation marked hope for persons suffering from critical medical conditions. The Pope also highlighted that human organ donation is a sign of love and emphatic generosity. However, the Pope indicated that profiting from human organs fuels inhumanity and must be condemned. The view by the world Catholic leader supports the argument that harvesting and profiting of parts whether from prisoners or innocent people is a crime. Although human organs end up benefiting the need of people in critical conditions, the method used to acquire them is illegal, therefore, is a crime. Organ donation should be wholly voluntary and legally protected.