The Adolescent Living-Related Donor
HEC (HealthCare Ethics Committee) Forum. 1992; 4(5): 314-323.
Conclusion: Concluding that we should not assume David's choice to be autonomous, and that his "decision" to donate is likely to limit his future autonomy requires paternalistic interference to protect David. It would prohibit transplanting his kidney now. On the other hand, concluding that David is acting autonomously leaves us with the duty to respect his choice and to transplant his organ to his brother. The conclusion drawn in this case, however, should not be generalized to apply to other cases involving adolescents, children, infants, or fetuses. In other cases, the facts might determine a different adjudication of the conflicting principles. In some situations (e.g., involving conception and birthing for the purpose of providing tissue for transplantation), additional principles might be pertinent. Nevertheless, in all cases where autonomy is absent and someone will suffer harm to benefit another, the least we owe them is (A) a serious evaluation of the ethical issues involved in inflicting that harm and (B) to refuse cooperation when we conclude that such actions would be immoral.
Adolescents; Autonomy; Beneficence; Case Studies; Children; Directed Donation; Donors; Ethical Analysis; Evaluation; Family Members; Fetuses; Harm; Infants; Kidney Diseases; Kidneys; Minors; Organ Donation; Organ Donors; Paternalism; Patient Care; Siblings; Tissue Donation; Transplant Recipients; Transplantation;