Organ Donation

Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: September 14, 2006

I wish to pose a question. This question came from a response to this post titled “A simple ethics question” The person posed this statement

"shouldn't this be more strongly equated with organ donation 
from a dead adult without their concent (but obviously from their 
family) in order to save the lives of living people who are suffering 
from possibly curable diseases?"

To this statement I have this to say

to the taking of organs against the wishes of the person that 
has passed away. I would say that if highly unethical, and this day 
n age if you have a drivers license they will ask you when you get it 
or when you renew it if you want to be a donor (well at lest in PA) so
 unless the person has indicated they wanted to be a donor, then the
 organs should be left. (side note, I know being an organ donor is a 
very good thing, in fact my church bode encourages it, see
http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2118 , but I 
am very uncomfortable with the thought of it and I have declined 
that, I know I am being a bit selfish, but I can not get over the 
uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my gut when I think about it, I 
have tried to over come it but can not, so I would hope that people 
would honor my wishes of not taking my organs after I leave this 
world for the heavenly realm) Even if the family is willing to give 
the organs unless the person in life has said yes, to take them would 
be a hoard unethical act.

This was on a different subject but the subject of Organ Donation I think deserves its own post, here is that post. I would love to see what my readers think. So here is the question should a person be an organ donation, what would you say to some one that is uncomfortable with the thought of being a donor?

1 Comment
  1. Jeffery R., MD says:

    Wow i love these ethical questions, they’re never quite black nor white. I hope that my previous response was not seen as pro ‘take everyone’s organs with or without their concent’.

    This is an excellent topic because it raises awareness to the fact that you should always speak with your family and close friends about your donor status. Believe me, unless they can’t be found, your family will be the deciding factor, not your liscense! Once in a brain-dead state, only a living will can override what your spouse’s/parent’s/children’s (in that order respectively) wishes are. Should everyone donate? I feel that if it doesn’t intrude on your religious beliefs, you should be willing to donate at least one organ (yes you can specify what they can and cannot take out or from you). I can to some degree see where you are coming from, that it just doesn’t seem right. Just think though, your family is devestated because you are now brain-dead, but can they be made to feel just a little bit better, knowing that somebody else’s family may be saved from this kind of grief and that a life could be saved? You wont even know it’s gone, trust me! (Sorry, in my line of work you have to be able to ‘laugh’ at the ‘obscene’) How many of you are circumcised? Did you know that your foreskin was most likely made into a semi synthetic skin that has probably saved a burn victim’s life and reduced scarring? But i digress, to answer the question you raised: no, nobody’s organs should ever be taken without their concent. However, even if you aren’t an organ donor on paper (your liscense) your family is still the final decision without a living will (something i cannot stress enough). While i do understand everyone has their own unique irrational fears (i have plenty of them myself) i would hope that anyone without a solid reason for not donating would please be selfless and let maybe one or two or even five people live, allowing some good to come out of a senseless tragedy. If you are not an organ donor, it is vital that you tell your family! It will make their desicion come more easily, and it will make sure that your wishes are honored.

    Organ donation is at an all time low not because people are unwilling to donate, but because people do not make clear what their wishes are. If you have to, write on a piece of paper what you are willing to donate and stuff it right next to your liscense (one of the first things that happens in trauma is a nurse will go through your pockets and wallet to find out as much information on you as we can). But do realise, all doctors learn on corpses ‘donated to science’ so that we may all learn how to heal the living.

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