Ethical Issues of Transplant Coordinators in Japan and the UK
Nursing Ethics 2008 September; 15(5): 656-669
Ethical problems surrounding organ donation have been discussed since before technologies supported the procedure. In addition to issues on a societal level (e.g. brainstem death, resource allocation), ethical concerns permeate the clinical practice of health care staff. These latter have been little studied. Using qualitative methods, this study, focused on transplant co-ordinators and their descriptions of dilemmas, ethical concerns and actions in response to them. Interviews with three co-ordinators in Japan and two in the UK revealed five areas in which dilemmas occurred: aspects of discrimination; conditions placed on who should be the recipient and the related issues of directed donation; respect for a person's right to make a decision and the extent of information provided and understood by donors and recipients; potential issues of coercion, compensation and rewards in live- related and live-unrelated donations; and potential conflicts in duties. This study describes the dilemma areas revealed. Their meaning for co-ordinators will be presented in a subsequent report.
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