New Meaning for “A Pound of Flesh”

by J-Touchette

The cornea is the most commonly used part of the eye in transplant surgery. However, the sclera, or white protective part of the eye, can be preserved and used to repair another patient's sclera, eardrum, nasal septum or gums.

A new Swedish study says organ exchange is a good thing.

Health authorities in Sweden have proposed a system where the donation of a person’s organs could help to pay for a person’s funeral. The research comes from Linköping in eastern Sweden, and recommends the provision of 30,000-45,000 kronor (roughly $4,800 USD) for funeral costs to help increase the supply of organs in Sweden.

For the criminally inclined, the researchers claim the sum is too small to encourage illegal use, and the money would be reserved exclusively for funerals and charitable donations.

With many travelling to third-world countries to purchase much-needed organs for transplant, one of the researchers, Gustav Tinghög, believes there is no argument against the recommendations. Also, the plan would allow for organs to be inspected for safety, and health reasons by doctors.

As it stands now, organ trade is prohibited by Swedish law.

The Swedish social affairs minister Göran Hägglund said he was concerned, and that he thought the idea was highly unethical.

While Hägglund is against this new idea, he does believe that while the Swedish organ donation system does have a large scope for improvement.

“There are a lot of people who say they are prepared to donate their organs – 80 percent according to some studies – but there are very few who go from words to action,” he said.

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