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Organ Transplants

             Four thousand Americans die every year waiting for organ transplants. As of the year 2000, 67,077 people were waiting for an organ transplant, whether it be for a kidney (43,995), a liver (14,517), or a heart (3,135). Out of the two million Americans who die each year, only 15,000 to 20,000 of them are organ donors. An organ donor is a person who, at death, donates his/her body parts along with his/her tissues to be used to save other people's lives. Therefore, in an effort to increase the amount of available organs, all American adults (past the age of 18) should be considered universal organ donors at death unless they officially declare themselves non-donors. If, for any reason, one does not want to be a universal donor, he/she can take his/her name off the donor list.
             To start off, universal organ donors donate all their bodily tissues and organs to people in need, when they die. Due to the high demand of human organs, a black market has formed. In this market, human organs and tissues are being smuggled and sold illegally to those in need. The main suppliers of these organs are China and Brazil. In China, organs are taken from executed prisoners. In some cases, doctors have admitted to taking out organs from prisoners days before they were scheduled for their execution. Due to these facts, Chinese citizens are afraid people are being wrongfully imprisoned and executed just so the government and other greedy high-ranking officials can make money. In Brazil, organs are being sold very discretely. After the organs .
             are purchased, meetings are set between "doctors" where the illegal organs are sold. The main source of the Brazilian organs is from their many homeless people. Many of these people sell their kidneys in order to feed their starving families. There have also been reported cases of homeless people being killed and having there organs taken from them simply because they refused to sell their organs for money.

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