Anencephalics as Organ Sources
Systma, Sharon E.
Theoretical Medicine. 1996 Mar; 17(1): 19-32.
In recent years, the need for infant organs for transplantation has increased. There is a growing recognition of the potential use of anencephalics as sources of organs. Prevalent arguments defending the use of live anencephalics for organ sources are identified and criticized. I argue that attempts to deny the applicability of the "dead-donor rule" are either question-begging or based on false premises and that attempts to skirt the Kantian dictum against treating others as a means only are not successful. I contend that the apparent utilitarian justification for live anencephalics as organ sources is unsatisfactory for two reasons: first, because it ignores the undermining effect the policy would have on parental values and sentiments central to social welfare; and second, because attempts to respond adequately to the slippery slope argument against live anencephalic use are unconvincing.
Anencephaly; Autonomy; Brain; Brain Death; Brain Pathology; Cadavers; Caring; Consent; Death; Dementia; Deontological Ethics; Determination of Death; Diagnosis; Donors; Emotions; Ethical Analysis; Ethics; Life; Living Donors; Moral Obligations; Moral Policy; Newborns; Organ Donation; Parental Consent; Parents; Persistent Vegetative State; Personhood; Self Concept; Speciesism; Slippery Slope Argument; Tissue Donation; Transplantation; Utilitarianism; Value of Life; Values;