Summary of the article The trouble with organ trafficking

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of the article: The trouble with organ trafficking

Althoughthe proponents of the organ trafficking argue that the issue can becountered by legitimizing it, legalizing the trafficking of humantissues across the boarders can lead to several problems. Whenwriting the article “The Trouble with Organ Trafficking” Caplanintended to warn the stakeholders about the dangers of legalizing thepractice. Caplan holds that the trafficking of human tissues andorgans (such as kidney, liver, skin, and bone) across the borders ofdifferent countries or states occurs in the black market because thelaw does not allow such practices.

Caplanholds that the owners of the organs that are trafficked illegally aretreated by the wealthy people and the patients in need of organs ascommercial entities. Legalizing the practice will not solve thisissue, but will create additional problems. The first problem thatwill arise from the legalization is that many nations do not haveadequate capacity to regulate the organ trafficking market since theyhave already proven to be unable to regulate other types of market,such as the banking and the housing. Caplan states “After all, eventhe United States, Britain, and Germany proved unable to regulatetheir banking, housing, and securities sectors” (p. 309). Secondly,states can use alternative methods to increase the availability oforgans without necessarily having to treat human beings as commercialentities (Caplan 309). Third, legalizing organ trafficking willincrease the exploitation of the poor people, since they are the easytarget. Lastly, legalizing trafficking of human organs will increasethe leeway for incidents of violation of medical ethics of the healthcare providers since the administration will not be able to determinewho is practicing trafficking within the law and those who arebreaking the law.

Therefore,trafficking of organs should remain illegal since this is the onlyway to enhance ethical practices in the health care sector. However,the market can be further regulated by requiring surgeons to inquireabout the sources of the organs or the donors, which will maketrafficking more difficult.


Caplan,A. The trouble with organ trafficking. FreeInquiry,29.6 (2009): 308-309.