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This house will legalize the sale of organs.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 991 times Debate No: 80349
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Hello. Today we have four rounds. Our first round is only acceptance. The second is arguments. The third is rebuttals, minor arguments. The last round is for conclusion.


1. No forfeiting

2. If you are not over the elo of 3000, you can't accept. If you accept, you have to forfeit all rounds to me.



I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


There are only about 20,000 kidneys every year for the approximately 80,000 patients on the waiting list. In 2008, nearly 5,000 died waiting.

Last month, New Yorker Levy Izhak Rosenbaum pled guilty in federal court to the crime of facilitating illegal kidney transplants. It has been deemed the first proven case of black market organ trafficking in the United States. His lawyers argue that his lawbreaking was benevolent: "The transplants were successful and the donors and recipients are now leading full and healthy lives."

Indeed, why are organ sales illegal? Donors of blood, semen, and eggs, and volunteers for medical trials, are often compensated. Why not apply the same principle to organs?

The very idea of legalization might sound gruesome to most people, but it shouldn't, especially since research shows it would save lives. In the United States, where the 1984 National Organ Transplantation Act prohibits compensation for organ donating, there are only about 20,000 kidneys every year for the approximately 80,000 patients on the waiting list. In 2008, nearly 5,000 died waiting.

Many protest that an organ market will lead to unfair advantages for the rich, but this is a characteristic of the current trade.

A global perspective shows how big the problem is. "Millions of people suffer from kidney disease, but in 2007 there were just 64,606 kidney-transplant operations in the entire world," according to George Mason University professor and Independent Institute research director Alexander Tabarrok, writing in theWall Street Journal.

Almost every other country has prohibitions like America's. In Iran, however, selling one's kidney for profit is legal. There are no patients anguishing on the waiting list. The Iranians have solved their kidney shortage by legalizing sales.

Many will protest that an organ market will lead to exploitation and unfair advantages for the rich and powerful. But these are the characteristics of the current illicit organ trade. Moreover, as with drug prohibition today and alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, pushing a market underground is the way to make it rife with violence and criminality.

In Japan, for the right price, you can buy livers and kidneys harvested from executed Chinese prisoners. Three years ago in India, police broke up an organ ring that had taken as many as 500 kidneys from poor laborers. The World Health Organization estimates that the black market accounts for 20 percent of kidney transplants worldwide. Everywhere from Latin America to the former Soviet Republics, from the Philippines to South Africa, a huge network has emerged typified by threats, coercion, intimidation, extortion, and shoddy surgeries.

Although not every black market transaction is exploitative -- demonstrating that organ sales, in and of themselves, are not the problem -- the most unsavory parts of the trade can be attributed to the fact that it is illegal. Witnessing the horror stories, many are calling on governments to crack down even more severely. Unfortunately, prohibition drives up black-market profits, turns the market over to organized crime, and isolates those harmed in the trade from the normal routes of recourse.

Several years ago, transplant surgeon Nadley Hakim at St. Mary's Hospital in London pointed out that "this trade is going on anyway, why not have a controlled trade where if someone wants to donate a kidney for a particular price, that would be acceptable? If it is done safely, the donor will not suffer."

Bringing the market into the open is the best way to ensure the trade's appropriate activity. Since the stakes would be very high, market forces and social pressure would ensure that people are not intimidated or defrauded. In the United States, attitudes are not so casual as to allow gross degeneracy. Enabling a process by which consenting people engage in open transactions would mitigate the exploitation of innocent citizens and underhanded dealing by those seeking to skirt the law.

The most fundamental case for legalizing organ sales -- an appeal to civil liberty -- has proven highly controversial. Liberals like to say, "my body, my choice," and conservatives claim to favor free markets, but true self-ownership would include the right to sell one's body parts, and genuine free enterprise would imply a market in human organs. In any event, studies show that this has become a matter of life and death.

Perhaps the key to progress is more widespread exposure to the facts. In 2008, six experts took on this issue is an Oxford-style debate hosted by National Public Radio. By the end, those in the audience who favored allowing the market climbed from 44 to 60 percent.

Yet, the organ trade continues to operate in the shadows and questionable activities occur in the medical establishment under the color of law. Even today, doctors sometimes legally harvest organ tissue from dead patients without consent. Meanwhile, thousands are perishing and even more are suffering while we wait for the system to change.

The truly decent route would be to allow people to withhold or give their organs freely, especially upon death, even if in exchange for money. Thousands of lives would be saved. Once again, humanitarianism is best served by the respect for civil liberty, and yet we are deprived both, with horribly unfortunate consequences, just to maintain the pretense of state-enforced propriety.

Allowing the sale of organs will harm state-financed health services and create a two-tier system

There is almost no chance that a state-financed health service will be able to afford the prohibitive cost of purchasing organs under this model. While it is difficult to track the exact price of organs on the black market, they often reach many thousands of pounds[1] and there is no reason to believe that the proposition’s model would suddenly reduce this price. In effect, this would turn essential organs into luxury items which the state cannot afford to provide, and so the poorest and neediest would be left to die. This would condone the most gross discrimination between rich and poor where a rich life, perhaps even despite a previously neglectful lifestyle (for example drinking and smoking), could be prioritised over a poor person’s life where their medical condition may not have been caused by their lifestyle choices.

Individuals do not have an inviolable right of property over their organs.

The notion of property over body parts is very complex, both legally and philosophically. Generally, judges have shown ‘abhorrence’ at the idea of defining human bodies or parts of, whether living or dead, as ‘goods or materials’[1]; if a right to property over the body could ever be exercised, it appears most strongly where the individual shows ‘no intention of abandoning or donating it’[2]. While this continues to be an incredibly complex issue, it essentially demonstrates that there is no absolute right of property over an individual’s own body parts; it is open to interpretation in each case. A proposition line that grants authority to any potential donor over the selling of organs assumes a right of property which does not, in fact, exist. As such it can, and should, be prevented.; />



1. My opponent argued the wrong side; my opponent is Con and should be arguing against the legalization of the sale of organs, but is arguing for the legalization of the sale of organs.

2. My opponent plagiarized a majority of his argument word for word from: . This deserves at least a conduct point penalty.

I don't have any additional arguments to add in addition to the arguments my opponent gave for my side.
Debate Round No. 2


Good morning. As I accidentally wrote the resolution wrong, this debate should end in a tie.


Ok, I agree to a tie. Judges please don't award points to either side.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks. Tie everyone. Please do not vote.


RainbowDash52 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by debate-master1 2 years ago
Rainbowdash52, lets tie the debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.