Compelled Organ Donation
Solomon, Louis M
Noll, Rebekka C
Mordkoff, David S
Gender medicine : official journal of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University 2009 Dec ; 6(4): 516-21
Along with ethical considerations, compelling an individual to donate organs, tissues, or bodily fluids brings several legal doctrines into conflict. The privacy of one's body is generally considered sacrosanct by American courts, which have upheld a competent adult's right to refuse medical procedures, even in cases when they are necessary to save the life of another. Although medical and legal communities stress "respect for the individual" as being paramount under American jurisprudential principles, the doctrine of "substituted judgment" permits a court to act (for example, by consenting to organ donation) on behalf of an incompetent individual or child. Parents also have the right to cause a child to "donate" an organ, and although a means exists by which the child can refuse, this may not be realistically feasible for young children. The revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 2006, while clarifying issues of who may make organ donation decisions, does not resolve all the practical issues of compelled organ donation for minors.
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