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Essay about Ethical Issues In Organ Donation

Saving Lives When Is It Ethical
The decision to be an organ donor is not an easy decision to make, but the donor has the easiest part of the donation process. The decision of when to extract the organs usually falls on the family and the attending physician. The question since organ donation began has always been when are you really dead? This one question has been an ongoing controversy not only with the public, but with churches, and the government as well. The government has tried to put rules in place to help make the decision of when donor removal is ethical. One such rule is called the dead donor rule, which states that the patient must be declared dead before the removal of any vital organs for transplantation (Robert D. Troug M.D.)….

In modern ICU, ethically justified decisions and actions of physicians are already the proximate cause of death for many patients¬¬— for instance, when mechanical ventilation is withdrawn. Whether death occurs as the result of ventilator withdrawal or organ procurement, the ethically relevant precondition is valid consent by the patient or surrogate. With such consent, there is no harm or wrong done in retrieving vital organs before death, provided that anesthesia is administered. With proper safeguards, no patient will die from vital organ donation who would not otherwise die as a result of the withdrawal of life support. Finally, surveys suggest that issues related to respect for valid consent and the degree of neurologic injury may be more important to the public than concerns about whether the patient is already dead at the time the organs are…

This is largely based on facts and confusion on what is actually brain dead and what is a persistent vegetative state (the patient still has brain activity but is not able to wake up). Many people object that transplantation surgeons cannot legally or ethically remove vital organs from patients before death, since doing so will cause their death (Robert D. Troug M.D.). In 2009, Paul Byrne, MD. A former president of the Catholic Medical Association, a neonatologist at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, and a long-time opponent of brain-death criteria, published a letter on the Web site Renew America arguing God’s law (Dubois). Paul Byrne said “the transplantation of unpaired vital organs, an act which causes the death of the ‘donor’ and violates the fifth commandment of the divine Decalogue, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ (Dt. 5:17)” (Dubois). According to what Paul Byrne and his colleagues believe, that we need to be absolutely certain that death has occurred, we would have no organs healthy enough to be able to transplant. An organ must be taken from a living person for it to be suitable for transplantation. At the close of 2007, 183,222 people were recorded in available OPTN data as living with a functioning transplanted organ (R.A. Wolfe. E.C. Roys). In 2007 alone 27,586 organs were transplanted with 21,279 of…

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