The Donation of Human Organs


TheDonation of Human Organs

Donation of organs have since raised a number of difficult questionsrelated to ethics on people’s claims of questioning what wouldhappen to their bodies once they are dead. As with the other relatedtopics applied in ethics, more satisfactory answers demand gettingwell acquainted with being aware of relevant facts about organdonation. Up to 20 different tissues and organs can be donated.However, there are certain issues that come with organ retrieval anddonation. The paper therefore, attempts to solve problems related toorgan retrieval and transplant. This will be done by persuadingaudiences on the problem selected, propose an action that details aspecific action of solving it, and finally justify the solution onwhy the audience ought to accept the selected proposal.

TheProblem Related to Organ Donation

Assume apotential donor would want to give valid consent to donate an organ,how far would this justify his or her willingness to donate theorgan? While donation of organs may not harm the donor, there is aproblem with the whole process. The rule of do no harm implies thatindividuals should not be harmed even when they give consent. Itshould be understood that donation of living organs, when all-thingsconsidered, may not harm the donor. For instance, suppose a man wouldlike to donate the second kidney to her son, having donated the firstkidney to his other son, and thus praying a price of his dear life ondialysis. Again, suppose a mother want to donate her heart to one ofher daughters, which could cause her own heart. Here is where theproblem lies, would the transplant teams act in a wrong way if theytook the organs in such a situation?

Is it a problemto donate an organ? What about organ donation, which goes beyond whatis permitted currently, like donation of a second kidney or an organ,for example the heart, which supports life? The problem is not organdonation, but organ retrieval. There are two categories of retrievalfrom the dead and from living donors (Siegel et al., 2010). Each ofthe categories raises different problems. To begin with organretrieval from dead bodies, brain dead are in particular major organsources for transplantation. As much there are a lot of people whodie than the number of organs required, it should be noted thatorgans are scarce. Problem with retrieval of organs dead is that itdepends on the nature of deaths. With countries practicing organretrieval, 2% of organs can only be retrieved from the death (Torr,2010). Again, the problem lies with the ethical-legal system thatgrants consent. This is another problem that affects the rates ofretrieval. One should bear in mind variety factors, such asincomparability or unreliability in factors that involve retrieval.Here, it is impossible or hard to develop confidence in numerouscausal claims on how rules of consent affect the rates of retrieval.

Earlytransplants used to be a success since organs were taken from theliving donors. That way, healthy people did not require undergoingdiscomfort and risk of organ retrieval that was non-therapeutic.Today, the problem originated from continuous shortage of donors andincrease in demand (Healey, 2011). Retrieval or organs from livingbeings also pauses another problem. Having to retrieve an organ mayimpose a risk of death, infection, discomfort from traumatizingexperience, and diseases. It may also result in degeneration oforgans and the loss of part or a whole organ. This raises a questionthat under what particular condition is it acceptable to impose therisk of organ retrieval on a person who will not receive anytherapeutic benefit? For reliable people, they need persuasion thattheir consent on the problem is requires morally permissible organretrieval, whether from the dead or the living. But how muchpersuasion is needed to convince people that there is problem withretrieval of organs for transplant?

PersuadingAudience on the Selected Problem

To assumeconsent is necessary in terms of ethics, which is before takingorgans from both the living and the dead. Questions may arise to whatmakes the consent or act of retrieval valid. In medical ethics, theanswer is that the consent should be voluntary or free,well-informed, and is made by a person who is capacitated to giveconsent. Therefore, in living organ donations for example, it shouldbe noted that before retrieval, organ donations, both the living anddead, should include the risks and chance of success at the receivingend. They have to be in a position they are able to freely decidewhether donation should be done and must be competent enough to doso.

Retrieval oforgans for donation is a problem. This is because it has resulted infamily pressure. The pressure may take into an account form of validthreats for violence, whereby the potential donor of the organ iscoerced. This pressure has resulted into thinking that to donate is amoral obligation, in which the donor is forced into accepting it(Siegel et al., 2010). What is even harder to imagine is that thepressure from the family consist of implicit ostracism threat.Instead of consent from the donor, retrieval of organs has since beenmade an obligation by the family. Retrieval of organs for donationmay also come from the donor, but again, the pressure from the familyhas jeopardized the whole process. Again, against the donors consent,transplant experts will tend to furnish the donors with “truedonors”, in that they are clinically ready or suitable to donate,especially on anatomical grounds (Grinkovskiy, 2009). Whether theselies are permissible or mandatory, it depends partly on the findinganswers to questions of when the pressure from the family undercuts agenuine consent.

Suppose that agenuine consensual retrieval of organ would, when all things areconsidered, harm the donor. The problem here is that, one may try toopt when organ retrieval should be permitted, nonetheless, is likecomparing autonomy value with the well-being of the donor (Egendorf,2009). The problem would also be a familiar aspect of debates on thelimits of consent and paternalism. Donation from the living also hasan unusual twist that, when one person was to prevent organ donation,then one would also have to prevent the act of importance towards abadly off person, who would be a potential recipient. Again, toprevent the act of organ retrieval will also be view my many to be inpaternalism state (Egendorf, 2009). With all these pressures, andbecause of its importance to the recipient and that of the donors’,choices to allow retrieval of organs are not always flawed. Donationof living organs that actually takes place, should be granted and beethically permissible.

If at all validconsent was to be a necessary condition of organ retrieval, and isregard as ethically permissible from the living, then the problemhere is the retrieval of organs from incompetent donors. It is notclear however, of the reasons why consent was to be carried out as anecessary condition in every case rather than in those ones withpeople capable of offering it. With utilitarian arguments, it tendsto permit retrieval since the donors lose less than the recipientgain. In specific cases, some people have argued that a person wouldhave wanted to offer is organ for donation, and thus usingsubstituted judgement of the idea, which is familiar, especially whendeciding for other patients considered incompetent (Torr, 2010). Inaddition, it could be more plausible, at least in some cases, tothink that donors considered incompetent, are not harmed when they donot donate and organ. The problem is, even if retrieval of the organis from incompetent donor, and was ethically permissible in aspecific case, then policy considerations, for example the right ofabuse, then it may justify an outright refusal.

ProposedAction to Alleviate the Problem

A report on theways of increasing chances of organ retrieval rate has revived anintense ethical debate on how far one should go to save the lives ofthe patients who are in need of organs through retrieval from healthyindividuals. There are proposed actions to help alleviate the problemof organ retrieval. One of the proposed actions is the use ofelective ventilation, which is different from other proposals. Thisis because it involves ventilation, since it recognizes when thepatient is near death, with specific intentions of facilitationsorgan transplant (Grinkovskiy, 2009). This proposed action (electiveventilation) is feared that it induces persistent vegetative state.Again, it is also thought that it is unethical to provide patientstreatment whenever it benefits other people, rather than the owners.For instance, this action led to more than 50% rise in the availablenumbers of organs.

Secondly, itshould be noted that radical proposals to solving the problem oforgan retrieval should come as a result of permission from the familyof the deceased. Here, it is proposed that surgeons could get ridsomeone’s heart who has suffered circulatory death. This willmaintain its function by oxygen and blood into it, and then give itto another patient’s new heart. In addition, proposed actioninvolves testing of brain stem, preferably in newborns aged belowthree months. This will help to retrieve organs like hearts from thebabies that had died, for instance with the birth of asphyxia, whilestopping to import the hearts in this age group. Again, easingexclusive criteria forbids some individuals from organ donation sincethe medical history is slightly stretching rules of eligibility(Siegel et al., 2010). This proposed action would help cut 7,800transplants from the list of recipients.

Finally, thestaff ought to be encouraged to identify dying patients that mighthelp in organ retrieval, since a large number of people each year diefrom diseases. Campaigns on advertisements could help reduce about35%, which is the rate of refusal to donate or retrieve organs. Thishappens when families are asked to let their family members retrievetheir organs. Action should also be taken to highlight instances ofmoral disparity, especially for those who would accept to use anotherperson’s organ but would refuse to donate one (Grinkovskiy, 2009).

Reasonsto Acceptance of the Proposal

On thefamily side, if an individual accept the deceased may have a claim,families may also acquire a claim by demanding a transfer. Proposedaction could help the deceased, before death, to delegate the powerof making decision on behalf of their families, which is oftenpossible in their jurisdictions. Proposed action could work out,especially when given priority to the deceased, is unacceptable inindividualist, either in cases where organ retrieval is considered tobe individualistic.

Some of theethical questions would help raise individuals for not introducing orchoosing monetary encouragement to proposed action of organ retrieval(Brezina, 2010). At some point, it should reply that nobody ispressured to donate organs after retrieval, as opposed to choosing.The proposal for action favors what could be known as “opt-out”for a presumed consent. The proposal could take the retrieved organswould be taken from a deceased or living person would also allowopt-out claim that a lot of people may prefer organ donation afterretrieval.

Again, theproposal for action could envisage handling of retrieved organswithout the consent of the person, whether alive or dead. Theproposed action may refuse individuals’ rights over their organs onestablished duty, which can be lifted with the right of the holder(Healey, 2011). From the objection side, one point out that takesinto account the organs, which will sometimes go against the wishesof the holder, and while may not take into consideration of those whowant donate the organs. To take on error is viewed to be a mistake,which is worse than not making a mistake (Torr, 2003). This isbecause people may have a right of not having their organs, but haveno right to acquire when organs are taken. The proposed actionconsiders alive or dead bodies in some way, and even not whenconsented to, could result in a given consent on medical treatmenteven when some could have opposed the whole process of retrieval.


Brezina, C.(2010). Organ donation: Risks, rewards, and research. NewYork: Rosen Pub.

Egendorf, L. K.(2009). Organ donation: Opposing viewpoints. Detroit, MI:Greenhaven Press.

Grinkovskiy, P. T. (2009). Organ donation: Supply, policies andpractices. New York: Nova Science.

Healey, J.(2011). Organ and tissue donation. Thirroul, N.S.W: SpinneyPress.

Siegel, J. T., Alvaro, E. M., &amp Claremont Symposium on AppliedSocial Psychology. (2010). Understanding organ donation: Appliedbehavioral science perspectives. Chichester, U.K:Wiley-Blackwell.

Torr, J. D.(2003). Organ transplants. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.