Should Foetuses or Infants Be Utilized as Organ Donors?
Caplan, Arthur L.
Bioethics. 1987 Apr; 1(2): 119-140.
The shortage of organs and tissues for transplantation in infants is particularly severe. Caplan considers the moral and public policy implications of utilizing abortuses and brain dead or anencephalic infants as donors. Arguments favoring their use include the potential benefits for research, benefits to existing infants born with fatal conditions, the ethical cost of relying on primates as sources of organs, and the providing of solace to grieving parents. Arguments against their use include the potential for coercion or conflict of interest in parental decisions about donation, the possibility that abortion may be encouraged, the fact that brain death is difficult to diagnose in infants while organ procurement from anencephalics may be considered murder, and the charge that an increase in infant transplants would be too costly. Caplan concludes that the arguments for using abortuses, anencephalics, and brain dead infants as organ and tissue donors outweigh the arguments against. (KIE abstract)
Aborted Fetuses; Abortion; Abortion on Demand; Allowing to Die; Anencephaly; Animal Organs; Body Parts and Fluids; Brain; Brain Death; Brain Pathology; Cadavers; Child Abuse; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Coercion; Conflict of Interest; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Determination of Death; Donors; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Fetal Tissue Donation; Fetuses; Hearts; Hospitals; Human Experimentation; Infants; Moral Policy; Motivation; Murder; Newborns; Organ Donation; Organ Donors; Organ Procurement; Parental Consent; Parents; Primates; Public Policy; Remuneration; Research; Research Ethics; Research Ethics Committees; Resource Allocation; Risks and Benefits; Scarcity; Third Party Consent; Tissue Donation; Tissue Donors; Tissue Transplantation; Transplantation;
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