An Ethical Implication of Organ Transplants

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An Ethical Implication of Organ Transplants Nickolus Sorenson Health Care Ethics and Medical Law Instructor: Kymberly Lum September 24, 2012 All aspects of health care face the inevitability of moral and ethical issues arising on numerous fronts. The organ donation and transplantation field of medicine is no exception. Each day, approximately 18 people die waiting for an organ to become available for transplant (Taranto, 2010). In the grand scheme of things this may not seem a significant number; however, the fact that over 6,500 individuals with families, friends, and an otherwise productive life will die needlessly every year is obviously a far cry from acceptable. This particular lack…show more content…
Organ and tissue transplantation has been around for quite some time but has only relatively recently become an accepted practice of medicine. Historically, a number of successful transplants occurred even in ancient times. Take, for example, the Indian surgeon, Shushruta, performing a skin graph to repair damage to another man’s nose in the second century B.C. (Paul, 2008). But it wasn’t until the successful kidney transplant preformed by Dr. Joseph Murray between twins and then again with a cadaver donation in 1954, for which immunosuppressant drugs were prescribed to ward off rejection, that organ transplant began to attract wide scale interest (Powell, 2011). Prior to the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, donors were able to legally sell their organs for a substantial sum. Conceivably, the poorest members of society were still the most frequent donors but their health concerns were considered and the procedure was preformed properly (Economics Resource Center, 2006). Now that legal financial incentives for donors have been taken off the table in the United States to avoid this treatment of the poor, resulting in the advantageous yet unethical acquiring of organs no longer being available, there is now a shortage of organs for donation. The consequence is that the call for available
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