Organ Donations : Ethical Issues

2085 Words9 Pages
Unregistered Organ Donations: Ethical Issues Introduction and Background A major, worldwide public health issue exists that many, if not most, people are either unaware of or, at best, paid little heed to. It is the issue of organ donations. Many thousands of people in countless countries suffer from major health issues that require these people receive organ transplants. If they do not receive these transplants, they will die from organ failure (Cohen, Bistritz, & Ashkenazi, 2015; Kennedy, 1979). The problem is that there are only a relatively few number of organs available for transplant compared to the number of people who need transplants (Jahromi, Fry-Revere, & Bastani, 2015). To deal with this issue, the U.S. and the UK have adopted organ donation systems, which require explicit consent from donors before their organs can be donated to others. These type of systems are called “opt-in” systems. Organs can only be used if donors or their relatives, upon the death of the potential donors, have specifically authorized the removal of organs (English, & Sommerville, 2003). Under an opt-in system, people who wish to donate their organs after their deaths must officially register this preference. If they do not register, then the law and the health care system presume they do not wish to donate. This, at least, is how the system works in theory. In practice, however, even if a potential donor has not officially registered as a donor, upon the death of the individual,
Open Document