9.1. ETHICS AND ORGAN DONATION
Organ donation is when a person allows an organ of theirs to be removed legally either by consent while the donor is alive or after death with the assent of the next of kin. This donation may be for research, or, for transplantation into another person. Some organs and tissues can be donated by living donors, such as a kidney or part of the liver etc. while most donations occur after the donor has died.
Ethical Issues Involved in organ transplantation
• Justice versus benefit in allocation: Due to shortage of donors, the question of who should get the organs - the one who is the sickest or the one who is waiting for long, or the one who can get benefited the most or to the richest person in queue – becomes an ethical dilemma
• Individual beliefs system: The treatment of body and its parts after death has great significance for an individual not only for religious and spiritual reasons, but also in terms of cultural and social perspectives.
• Monetizing body parts: Selling an organ for the need of money raises question of ethics and exploitation of poor sections. There are countries like Iran where buying a Kidney is legal.
• Coercion: In India, opt-in system is followed and only the willing donors can donate their organs but several times it is found that women have been forced to donate their organs to the male family members.
• Non-informed donation: Scandals of trafficking of organs raise issues regarding informed consent of the donor.
• Potential risks of donation: At times, donors are unaware of the potential risks and aftereffects they may undergo. The well-being of donor needs to be placed above than the recipient.
• Non-universality: The development and use of technology related to organ and tissue transplants is quite expensive and beyond the means of many people.
Regardless of these issues, there are various positive values attached to organ donation as well:
• Altruism: the act of donation is a selfless act of giving a valuable thing to other
• Saving of life: Organ donation of a dead or dying part gives the gift of a new life to the receiver
However, due to complex ethical issues involved in organ donation, the Government must try to regulate it. People should be encouraged to donate in case the benefits to patient and society is more than the harms to the donor. The step towards altruistic donation is good because it can check organ trafficking, as well as those who have to sell their organs out of poverty. The living donor should be tested psychologically as well to find out whether the consent is coerced or genuine. There should also be an opt-out system where people who are not willing to donate their organs might make a will about it.
9.2. ETHICS AND VANDALISM
Vandalism is an offence that occurs when a person or group of people willingly destroy or deface public or private property without the permission of the owner. The acts of vandalism may include burning shops, destroying vehicles, breaking windows, defacing billboards, or destructing public buildings, railway lines, etc. The cases of Vandalism have increased a lot in recent days such as destroying the statue of Lenin and Periyar, railway line destruction during Jat agitation, burning of buses during Padmavati movie protests etc. In India, Vandalism is a criminal offence which comes within the ambit of Prevention of damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and Section 425 of IPC which terms it as 'creating Mischief'.
Ethical issues involved in vandalism
• Reduced social cohesion: It may lead to social tensions in the society. Destruction of statues of leaders like Ambedkar, Periyar, or incidents like Babri Masjid demolition divides the society on caste and religious lines. The effects of such acts are long term.
• Destroying common good: Generally public property faces more destruction due to act of vandalism. This indirectly involves wastage of hard-earned tax-payers' money.
• Mindless and permanent damage: The purpose behind such acts may or may not be successful, but the loss is permanent e.g. the Jat reservation Agitation paralysed the whole machinery for several days and led to mindless destruction of public property but the outcome is not according to the will of the protestors.
• Psychological effects over minorities, women, children and other affected people. The recent vandalism over release of Padmavati movie led to bad impression over innocent minds of school going children. Several women got molested and passerby got abused during such acts of vandalism.
• Impacts sanctity of a place: Vandalism may lead to destruction of precious art and art forms. It destroys the aesthetic beauty of ancient inscriptions, and permanent damage to the monuments. The act of writing over walls of monuments, defacing the idol, spitting of chewed tobacco etc. are examples of such vandalism.
• Legitimizes aggression: because such acts generally go unpunished and are usually done in groups.
• Reduces trust in the system: When system is not able to stabilize such acts immediately and muscle power is able to silence critics the trust of people gets affected.
• Represent degrading values: Such acts represent the failure of society and education system as a whole, because they were unable to impart the basic virtues of respect, compassion, peace, and resolution of issues through dialogue mechanism.
• Lack of patience and tolerance: It shows lack of patience in getting justice or meeting their demands through proper channels.
Vandalism even for the sake of valid reasons cannot be justified because it represents lack of faith in judicial systems and constitutional provisions, unscientific temperament, creation of panic and chaos in the society, disrespect for heritage, and violation of fundamental rights of privacy, choice and movement of other people.