Mandating organ donation

To put that into perspective, that is more than enough to fill even the largest football stadium. Congress created the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in 1984.

Unfortunately, the demand for organs is outpacing the rate of supply because currently, to meet this demand, the only source of legal supply is altruism. The UNOS is responsible for managing the national transplant waiting list, providing assistance to patients, family members and friends, educating transplant professionals about their role in both the transplant and donation processes, among other responsibilities.

Candidates for living donors can be of any age [donors under 18 years must obtain parental/guardian consent (though ages under 18 are excluded from donating kidneys)] and must be in good physical and psychological health.

Though donors are prohibited from compensation, the insurance of the transplant recipient covers the medical expenses (the evaluations, the surgery and follow-ups) of the donor.

The document, “The Consensus Statement of the Amsterdam Forum on the Care of the Live Kidney Donor”, outlines responsibilities of the surgery, informed consent, donor autonomy, and donor selection.

Shortly after, in 2006, a similar ethical guideline, “The Ethics Statement of the Vancouver Forum on the Live Lung, Liver, Pancreas, and Intestine Donor”, was set up for the live procurement of other non-kidney organs.

Finally, the ethical implications of organ commodification will be addressed.

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However, innovations in technology allowed hearts to continue working and thus the heart-lung definition of death became anachronistic.Both documents clarify the ethical standards that must be met to procure organs from living donors.They go into lengths to clarify “informed consent”, which consists of full knowledge of the risks associated with the procedure, the expected transplant outcomes, employability, insurability, and the right to opt-out at anytime, among other factors.There are a few religions that oppose organ donations/transplants, like Jehovah’s witnesses and the Christian scientists, but one following that actively opposes organ donations and transplants is Shinto followers.The reason Shinto followers oppose organ donations/transplants is because of their definition of death.Since this time, multiple organizations, legal provisions, and ethical questions have risen in response to organ donations (regarding both acquisition and distribution).This paper will first detail the ethical grounds of procuring organs from living and deceased donors.A strongly emphasized point of informed consent is the degree of voluntariness.The voluntarism aspect is of special ethical concern and is discussed below.The UNOS board is half comprised of physicians and transplant surgeons, while the other half is made up of donor family representatives, attorneys, and philosophers.Also in 1984 when the National Organ Transplantation Act (NOTA) was passed prohibiting the sale of organs, donations filtered through in two forms: from the living and from the deceased.

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