Individual and Family Decisions About Organ Donation
Journal of Applied Philosophy 2007; 24(1): 26-40
This paper examines, from a philosophical point of view, the ethics of the role of the family and the deceased in decisions about organ retrieval. The paper asks: Who, out of the individual and the family, should have the ultimate power to donate or withhold organs? On the side of respecting the wishes of the deceased individual, the paper considers and rejects arguments by analogy with bequest and from posthumous bodily integrity. It develops an argument for posthumous autonomy based on the liberal idea of self-development and argues that this establishes a right of veto over donation. It claims, however, that whether the family's power to veto would conflict with posthumous autonomy rights depends on how it comes about. On the side of respecting the family's wishes, the paper first considers an argument from family distress. This supports a contingent, non-rights-based reason for the family's power that is trumped by the deceased's rights. It then outlines and criticises an argument based on family autonomy. The conclusion is that the individual has the right to veto the family's wish to donate and that, while the family has no right to veto the individual's wishes to donate, it can legitimately acquire this power and has done so in practice.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Wilkinson, T.M. (2005-10)The current position on the deceased's consent and the family's consent to organ and tissue donation from the dead is a double veto-each has the power to withhold and override the other's desire to donate. This paper raises, ...
Family Discussions About Organ Donation: How the Media Influences Opinions About Donation Decisions Morgan, Susan E.; Harrison, Tyler R.; Long, Shawn D.; Afifi, Walid A.; Stephenson, Michael S.; Reichert, Tom (2005-10)
Life and Death Decisions: Using School-Based Health Education to Facilitate Family Discussion About Organ and Tissue Donation Waldrop, Deborah P.; Tamburlin, Judith A.; Thompson, Sanna J.; Simon, Mark (2004-08)