We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our Essay Writing Contest! Picking a winner was hard and our team spent many days reading all the outstanding essays that came our way. The results of this contest are finally released!
We are pleased to announce that Ninke Christensen, a 22-year-old student from Oslo, Norway, is the winner of the $200 Prize! Congratulations, Ninke, and thank you for your hard work!
Our only regret is that there can only be one winner. Fortunately, there will be another chance for you to shine and win $200 in Spring, 2018! Meanwhile, enjoy the essay that won this year. As promised, we publish it on our blog!
Saving Through Killing: Ethical Issues In Organ Transplantation
According to the statistics, 116,000 people are on a waiting list for donor organs right now. However, only 33,611 transplants took place in 2016. The remaining 82,000 people are left with the choice: to die or to purchase organs elsewhere, legitimately or not. Obviously, most people in need would prefer the second option and look for organs on black markets, where kidneys, hearts, lungs, and corneas are always in abundance. But where do these organs come from? The truth is they are not willingly donated by big-hearted people who take comfort in helping others. They are not even sold by those who need money and are ready to trade a kidney for a couple of thousands dollars. They are being forcefully removed from people in third-world countries, often without their consent or even knowledge. Most of the patients are still alive when the operation takes place.
Each day around 25 people die while waiting for the necessary donor organ. The demand is, undoubtedly, high, and those lucky ones who survive thanks to illegal transplants rarely think of the real cost of their salvation. But can a life saved by taking another life be considered saved? Both religion and ethics condemn such practice, supporting organ donation as a whole but not mass killing. Murder is one of the greatest sins in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other major religions. Every creature created by God has the sacred and unconditional right to live, breath, think, and walk this Earth. No matter how noble the aspiration, it is not up to greedy entrepreneurs to subject innocent people to medical testing without their consent, let alone slaughter them and sell their organs.
Apart from being immoral and illegal, the problem of organ harvesting poses a number of social issues. In 2014, the movie "Human Harvest" came out, exposing the truth about illegal organ trade in China. Tens of thousands of prisoners are being tortured and violently murdered for their body parts in state-run hospitals each year. What is even more horrifying is that those crimes are being committed on the instruction of the Government - the victims are mainly Falun Gong practitioners and other political prisoners. A world where your life does not even belong to you is not a bad dream, but a reality for millions of people nowadays. Such incidents happen not only in China, but also in South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, Moldova, India, and other countries. But shouldn’t people be equally respected all across the globe? What makes a person from the US or Canada more deserving of a right to life than a poor kid from India?
To conclude, organ harvesting is wrong for a variety of reasons, among which are legal, social, ethical, and religious. Hopefully, modern technologies will help humanity to abolish this shameful practice once and for all in the nearest future. For example, 3D printing is a safe and ethical way to save people whose lives depend on donor organs. This is a great alternative solution that can eliminate the need to rip hearts or kidneys out of little kids and leave them to die on operating tables. Organ trafficking is a lucrative business nowadays, bringing billions of dollars in revenue yearly. But is this really the price of a human life?