Organ Donations Should Not Be Restricted to Relatives
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1989 Mar; 15(1): 17-20.
Should we remove whole organs from living donors only in the case where they are genetically related to the intended recipients of such organs? The practice in a majority of European nations is to apply such a restriction. Yet this restriction obviously limits the availability of already scarce donor organs, and curtails the opportunities for altruistic action on the part of those who, in any given case, are not genetically related to the recipient. The author argues that we have a duty to maximise procurement of organs, and that we should respect the genetic relative restriction only in response to compelling moral reasons. The author considers the principal objections to non-related donation and shows them to be misdirected. He concludes that non-related donation should be welcomed where clinically appropriate and truly voluntary.
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