UC Law SF International Law Review


Dylan Fukai


As people around the world continue to die on organ transplant waiting lists, the international community sits idly by, hoping that human kindness will solve the growing need for organs. Current altruistic systems have proven to be inadequate to close the gap between the high demand for organs and the limited supply of legally available organs. The international community’s aversion toward legal organ sales and the current issues stemming from the illegal organ market continue to impede progress toward saving lives. However, some nations have begun to transition from strictly altruistic organ transplantation systems. One example of a non-altruistic organ system is found in Iran, which has eliminated the nation’s kidney transplant waiting list by creating a government regulated commercial organ market. The United States, which is being ravaged by a nationwide organ shortage, may feasibly be the next country to end its prohibition against compensating organ providers. As the number of deaths due to lack of available organs continues to increase annually around the world, changes are essential and inevitable. Organ donations should be seen as more than gifts of human kindness. By barring compensation for organ providers, the international community violates the autonomy of willing donors and sentences thousands of patients to death.