Thursday, October 10, 2013

Doctors: Patients Don’t Need to be Dead Before We Harvest Their Organs

Transplanted cornea. Originally uploaded as Im...
Transplanted cornea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The attacks on the dead donor rule–which requires death as a precondition of donating vital organs–are continuing in the world’s most prestigious medical and bioethical journals.
Take the New England Journal of Medicine, which has just published opposing articles about the issue.
The pro-killing for organs article–by Robert D. Truog, M.D., Franklin G. Miller, Ph.D., and Scott D. Halpern M.D. Ph.D., contends that past assurances about donors being dead were, essentially, lies. (I disagree.) But rather than urge a return to ethical standards, the authors go all in for legalizing homicide for organs. From, “The Dead-Donor Rule and the Future of Organ Donation:”
Accordingly, patients should be permitted to donate vital organs except in circumstances in which doing so would harm them; and they would not be harmed when their death was imminent owing to a decision to stop life support. That patients be dead before their organs are recovered is not a foundational ethical requirement. Rather, by blocking reasonable requests from patients and families to donate, the DDR both infringes donor autonomy and unnecessarily limits the number and quality of transplantable organs. Read more >>

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