Ethics of Organ Transplantation
One of the most beneficial achievements of modern medicine is organ transplantation, which saves lives and allows individuals with debilitating illnesses to return to having productive and fulfilling lives. Organ retrieval and transplants have raised many ethical issues. Since the first kidney transplant in 1954, a growing shortage of organs has led to a daily death of 16-18 patients in the United States alone. Efforts to encourage organ procurement from cadaveric donors, along with extended acceptability of living donations, have not increased the supply of organ nearly enough to satisfy the growing demand worldwide. The module addresses the ethical issues generated by recent and ongoing advances in organ transplantation, the problem of organ supply versus organ demand, procurement policies, human organ trafficking and some possible solutions to organ shortage.
Bruce Elliot Gelb, M.D., F.A.C.S, is an Assistant Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center, School of Medicine and Director of Renal Transplantation, Department of Transplant Surgery.
“Ethics of Organ Transplantation.” Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota. Feb. 2004. Web. 2 June 2015.