Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

M. Potts & D. W. Evans, Does It Matter That Organ Donors Are Not Dead? Ethical and Policy Implications

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

M. Potts & D. W. Evans, Does It Matter That Organ Donors Are Not Dead? Ethical and Policy Implications

Article excerpt

M. Potts & D. W. Evans, Does It Matter that Organ Donors Are Not Dead? Ethical and Policy Implications, 31 J. MED. ETHICS 406 (2005).

Once we recognize that the dead donor rule is not morally necessary for organ procurement, the "concept of brain death will then disappear from textbooks, illustrating the degree to which the concept was never more than a social construction, developed to meet the needs of the transplantation enterprise during a crucial phase of its development."

The authors contend that arguments for the moral acceptability of organ procurement, once the dead donor rule is eliminated, are not convincing, and that the unacceptability of such transplantation should lead to changes in current policy. Removing vital organs from a still living donor is the taking of innocent human life. The argument that such removal is morally no different from "allowing to die" by removing a ventilator is seriously flawed. Removing a vital organ, such as the heart, directly causes the death of the patient, and is not merely allowing the effects of disease or injury to take their course. It is the organ removal surgery that kills the donor. In addition, withdrawal of life support may be an acceptable omission of burdensome treatment, rather than an act that is more likely to involve an intent to kill the patient. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.