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The Ethics of Organ Donation
The medical practice of organ donation has seen a remarkable growth through leaps and bounds leading to the primary ethical dilemma. Transplants involve the surgical removal of a damaged or failing organ and replacing it with one from a different donor. From the first kidney transplant in 1954, medical, ethical and legal advances have been made. Besides, organ donation has now expanded to livers, lungs, hearts made possible by the development of anti-rejection drugs, artificial organs, and the use of animal organs for human transplantation. Critical factors such organ type, the distance of the donor from the patient, level of medical urgency and time patients spend on the waiting list are critical in determining the most suitable candidate for organ donation.
Pros and Cons
Ethics surrounding the donor’s perception and knowledge relates to Henrietta Lacks’ story as portrayed in The Miracle Woman. When diagnosed with an aggressive strain of cervical cancer in 1951, doctors took tissue samples without due consent (Bramstedt 39).
This was unethical practice since medical researches require that scientists attain express permission from the respective donors or research subjects. Counterproductively, the doctor’s actions helped in the development of polio vaccine in addition to drugs that cured Parkinson’s disease, hemophilia, influenza, leukemia, and Herpes. It also extend…
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