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Organ Donation - Essay Example

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This work called "Organ Donation" describes the legal and/or ethical issue concerning organ donation. The author outlines the cultural diversity in ethical decision-making, the elements of autonomy, fidelity, and confidentiality, the history of organ donation. …
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Organ Donation
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Download file to see previous pages Despite acceptance from the majority of the public, organ donation has resulted in the overarching public interest, legalities, ethical consideration, and medical practice. Thus, the paper will seek to discuss the legal and ethical issues surrounding organ donation and the problem related to the mismatch of organ demand to supply. In addition, the paper will also discuss the dilemma of when should a patient be categorized as dead and candidate for organ donation, to whom shall organs be transplanted under the existing ethical and legal guidelines, and who will decide who will live or die.
To address this issue, organ donation will be traced back on history and discussion of ethical and legal dilemmas will be made in terms of addressing three of the learning objectives from this course: analysis of the ethical principles of human dignity, compassion, non-malfeasance, and social justice, discussion of the elements of autonomy, fidelity and confidentiality, and explanation of organ donation process and cultural diversity for ethical decision-making.
Organ donation started in the 1950s when surgeon Joseph Murray performed the first kidney transplant in 1954. It was followed by the first human heart transplant in 1967 by Christiaan Barnard, a surgeon from Cape Town, South Africa.
Organ donations during the 1950s were intense and angst-provoking. Surgeons were forced with the responsibility of choosing who among the patients will live or die by developing criteria for organ recipients in times when the organ supply was scarce. It was also at this time when the issue of organ rejection and inadequate and harmful antirejection medications were brought as an ethical dilemma due to the unavailability of immunosuppressant cyclosporin A before 1978.
As time goes by, issues concerning organ donation and transplantation have increased not only in quantity but also in complexity and diversity. Ethical issues in the 1950s shifted to societal pressure for organ harvesting resulting from the significant difference between the global demand for organs and supply and the question of morality and legal definition of death during the 21st century. Kidney donation has declined since 2004 which led to conflicts between strategies designed to expand the organ supply through the use of expanded criteria donors and high-risk donors and the absence of adequate risk adjustment in the analysis of patient outcomes (Klein et al. 2010, 974). OPTN (Organ Procurement Transplantation Network) began to develop policies for living organ donation and transplantation to promote safety, education, data collection, and oversight in 2006 through the Secretary of the U.S.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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