Are financial incentives the best solution to the crisis in organ and tissue donation?

GRIN Verlag
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Essay from the year 2011 in the subject Ethics, grade: 2.1, Churchill College, Cambridge (-), language: English, abstract: For financial incentives to be considered as the best form of solution to the crisis in organ and tissue donation, they have to work effectively and work better than alternative solutions. Examples of financial incentives working include Germany’s use of reductions in social insurance contributions if citizens attend smoking cessation sessions, screenings and dieting classes and a recent U.S. study which found that over a 3-month period participants offered $14 per percentage point of weight loss lost 4.7 pounds and participants offered $7 per percentage point of weight loss lost 3.0 lb compared with 2.0 lb among control group participants 4 (those who received no financial incentive). These are but two examples from worldwide use of financial incentives in motivating and changing behavior. However, there are some issues with the effectiveness of financial incentives for organ and tissue donation, mainly those of the wide and popular range of alternatives and the lack of tangibility for financially incentivized post-mortem donation. The introduction of financial incentives could lead to a reduction in altruistic donations, opponents of financial incentives argue. This decline in altruistic donations will lead to an overall decline in donations and therefore make the crisis even worse. However, financial incentives can easily work alongside altruism, since those who donate altruistically do so for family or friends - people donate for different reasons, and there is no evidence that financial incentives would cause people to stop donating. Even if there is a reduction in altruistic donations these can be more than made up for by the increase in donations caused by financial incentives. The main alternative to financial incentives is the presumed consent or “opt-out” system. Presumed consent asks the people to register to prevent their organs being used after death, as opposed to registering to allow use. This utilizes the perceived apathy of the population and increases the number of post-mortem donations dramatically without causing the same ethical and moral concerns as financial incentives. However, presumed consent has some serious problems, both practical and moral. It does not increase live donations whatsoever, and both people themselves and families of the deceased can simply refuse donation. It also raises questions regarding whether the state can claim people’s bodies without permission.
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GRIN Verlag
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Jul 14, 2011
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Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / Religious
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Essay from the year 2011 in the subject English - Discussion and Essays, grade: 2.1, Churchill College, Cambridge (-), language: English, abstract: What Iago and Roderigo call ‘unnatural’ and unjust only reveals, ironically, how humanly unnatural and morally unjust they are. Racism is so reviled by Shakespeare that, in Iago, he presents one of the moist vividly ugly and alarming life-sized portraits of unequivocal racist hatred of black people in literature. It is true that Brabantio reacts with horror at the thought of Othello marrying his daughter: Iago is clever enough to tap into this primal and illogical fear of miscegenation, but Othello’s first appearance and the way Shakespeare presents him as a well-spoken, articulate and persuasive human being demonstrates that Shakespeare does not endorse any stereotypical view of non-white people at all. In Act One, scene two Shakespeare portrays Othello as calm, measured and sensitive - hardly the “black ram” that Iago has so crudely referred to. In fact, Shakespeare’s presentation of Othello highlights the ironic untruthfulness of Iago’s words. He is much more than the “Barbary horse” that Iago calls him (Act one, scene one, 113). Shakespeare presents Iago as the character with the most psychological problems. This is not just a question of his racism - it is also his obsessive pursuit of Othello’s downfall and his cynical, debased attitude to life. Iago’s speech throughout the play is full of disgusting animal images - this shows us more about his conception of what it is to be human than it does about Othello and other non-Europeans. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (quoted in Kermode, page) wrote about Iago’s “motiveless malignity”, but that is not strictly true: Iago does give two reasons for his hatred of the Moor - at the end of the opening scene of the play he expresses his anger at being passed over for promotion to lieutenant and at the end of Act One, scene three he says that he suspects that Othello has had sex with Emilia, Iago’s wife: “It is thought abroad that twixt my sheets? He has done my office.” (lines 369 - 370). Therefore, Iago does have clear motives. However, that does not explain the sheer joy and relish Iago feels at triumphing over Othello. But even this sadistic enjoyment of destroying other people’s lives is not inherently racist: he destroys the lives of all the characters in the play - without a hint of remorse - white and black, Venetian and non-Venetian. Iago is a bully - and he bullies Othello because of his color, but he might just as easily have bullied him about his age.
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