Ethics and Organ Donation

1598 Words7 Pages
Ethics Analysis Paper

Ethical Issues Related to Organ Donations

In 1983 Dr H Barry Jacobs, a physician from Virginia, whose medical license had been revoked after a conviction for Medicare mail-fraud, founded International Kidney Exchange, Ltd. He sent a brochure to 7,500 American hospitals offering to broker contracts between patients with end-stage-renal-disease and persons willing to sell one kidney. His enterprise never got off the ground, but Dr Jacobs did spark an ethical debate that resulted in hearings before a congressional committee headed by Albert Gore, Jr., then a representative from the state of Tennessee. The offensive proposal for kidney sales led to the National Organ Transplant Act to become law in
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Between July 2000 and December 2002, there were 129 organs that were recovered from deceased donors and directed to particular recipients. Federal law explicitly allows for this option, although some state laws have placed limits on it. In particular, some states have said organs cannot be directed to a race or class of people, but must be designated instead to an individual. This change came after a case in Florida when family members of a white supremacist sought to restrict their donation to white recipients. As a future healthcare leader I do not think that public solicitations are just as they give priority to people who can get attention while ignoring those who are less fortunate. Not all people waiting for a transplant have the same financial resources or social skills to undertake a public campaign. If many recipients take out these types of campaigns and start to solicit for organs through directed donations, it would take away from assuring that the waiting list is followed so that the sickest patient with the greatest possibility for success would be considered first through the allocation process. This is reiterated by Art Caplan a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. He believes that publicity campaigns and public solicitations undercut the ability of the system to get organs to those most in need and those who have the best chance to survive. Given that an

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