• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The law relating to organ transplantation

Extracts from this document...


Organ transplants can vastly improve patients' quality of life and benefit their families and society in general by restoring an ill and dependent individual to health. On cost benefit analysis transplants prove ultimately cheaper than long-term dialysis by �191,000 per patient on average. However, there are fewer donors than there are needy patients although this should not be the case, because the percentage of willing donors lie in the 70s. Nonetheless, actual donations languish in the 20s. I argue that this is due to the misdirected and incoherent legal structure in place. I suggest that to increase the number of organs for transplantation a presumed consent system should be implemented to close the gap between willing and actual donations. In conjunction with improved coordination this will ameliorate the severe shortage. Such a system is ethically and morally justified. I consider other options under cadaveric donation such as increased investment in coordination without a change in the default position of deference to relatives (in the footsteps of Spain), as well as alternatives to cadaveric donation, such as live donations and xenotransplantation. They are however problematic both ethically and practically, such that even if the law formally and effectively ensures that all who need organs get them, it would be normatively wrong. 1 The law relating to organ transplantation The terms of the relevant law must be subject to critique, because ultimately healthcare workers must work within the existing common law and legislation, even as they seek to save patients from an avoidable early death. The definition of death is problematic. Today the concept of brain death has been adopted by most Western countries. Others suggest however that when the capacity for sentience is irrevocably absent, the minimum criteria for personhood no longer exists, despite the presence of a functioning brain stem. Perhaps it is best to admit that it is impossible to define the moment of death with any certainty or precision, and that the important task therefore is to determine at what point in the process of dying organ retrieval becomes legitimate. ...read more.


Elective Ventilation of deep coma patients close to death with no possibility of recovery for a few hours to preserve their organs long enough to prepare for their removal after death. A trial held in Exeter in 1988 led to a 50% increase in the number of organs suitable for transplantation, but was halted in 1994 when the Department of Health declared in unlawful, because it was not in the patients' best interests - but whilst of no direct benefit to the patient, it is not contrary to the patient's interests and has the potential to benefit others. Nonetheless, this would still be subject to relatives' vetoes without a systemic revamp. 3 Live Donors Full, free and informed consent necessary because it is not in best interests of the live donor. It is not fully compatible with the traditional Hippocratic oath and its fundamental principle "Primum Non Nocere". To prevent organ sales on pretext of altruistic donation, HOTA89 s2(1)(b) allows only genetically related organ transfers. But why should altruism be limited to the dead? Then again, why should altruism be necessary if there is no problem in the first place? Live donors are indeed an alternative resource to cadaveric donors - but with what incentives? HOTA89 s1 prohibits payment. There are six reasons forwarded against a market in organs. First, many believe there is something intrinsically wrong with commodifying the human body, and that it would be either impossible or degrading to put a value on human body parts. Indeed, human dignity trumps autonomy - if the human body is uniquely valuable and cannot be owned by others or ourselves, it cannot be bought or sold. Second, commercialisation undermines the principle that organ donation should be altruistic. Third, this trade would exploit the poor, and the fact that such markets flourish in developing countries is taken to be evidence that only the poor and marginalized would agree to donate their organs for money - only those who see no other way but sell parts of their body, or would rather sell parts of their body than work. ...read more.


Xenotransplantation offers a real, though currently distant, hope of providing a source of organs for those who urgently require a transplant. Before that hope can become a reality, good medical and scientific progress and also careful, publicly acknowledged safeguards and regulation must be in place. The good news is that the various national authorities and the Council of Europe have established such stringent regulations. This is an excellent example of being proactive rather than simply reactive to new scientific advances. This will prevent the horse from bolting rather than trying to close the stable door after the horse has gone. Religious views Catholics and Protestants advocate prudence, not only because of the ill-defined nature of this new medical adventure but also because of the risks of contamination it may entail. The question of the identity of humankind generally and of particular individuals is on the table and is especially crucial. The question of xenographs in fact pushes to their utmost limits all the ethical problems posed by transplants - powers and limitations of human beings, identity, sense of solidarity and justice. Buddhists are not in favour of xenografts and xenotransplantation but regard them as acceptable in certain circumstances - no commercialism, decent living conditions and treatment for the animal, and the procedure should be regarded as a transitional phase, which should be as short as possible. Judaism takes a pragmatic stance, saying that given the importance attached to life, xenotransplants do not pose any religious problem. It is permissible to save a human life by transplanting animal organs, tissue or cells, especially as there is currently a drastic shortage of human donors - on condition that no unnecessary suffering is caused to the animal. Consideration of physical and psychological impact on recipients of animal organs necessary, but also necessary are further developments in the research field before the full physical impact might be known. Humankind is permitted and even duty-bound to change and improve the world in any way deemed beneficial for humanity. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level ICT in Business section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level ICT in Business essays

  1. I have selected a nursery because there is high demand in the UK as ...

    The Product Life Cycle A product life cycle shows the four stages that all products go through in their lifetime. However the amount of time they take to get to each stage and how long they stay there depends on the level of success they achieve .The four stages of

  2. Business Aims and Objectives.

    * Graphical communication (e.g. production drawings, on screen graphics, graphics via the internet) Oral communication Oral communication may be face to face when two people or a group meet together or over the phone. Telephone conference takes place when several people are linked simultaneously so that they can have a discussion.

  1. Business options

    We found ZoneAlarm very good at recognizing and automatically including settings for our local network. In all our tests, the firewall guarded against all external and internal threats it encountered. ZoneAlarm is an excellent firewall choice for just about any average user.

  2. unit10 final account

    The total turnover for the tesco in UK shows the total turnover of �24,760. In total, they have 5.2 million banking, Tesco. Com and telecom accounts. TASK 3 DECRIBE THE CORE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES OF THE TWO BUSINESSES YOU ARE INVESTIGATING FOR THIS UNIT.

  1. Increase Reality

    The topic of "augmented reality, " which can be thought of as an advanced human-computer interface technology that attempts to blend or fuse computer-generated information with our sensations of the natural world has been a subject of many persons' and organizations' interest.

  2. An Evaluation of Performance Related Pay and its Viability Within Public Sector Education

    This can be seen by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of PRP in general. 3.2.4 Benefits Performance related pay is widely regarded across sectors and the benefits for and against performance related pay in the public and private sectors are very similar.

  1. Apple Incorporation - Case Analysis

    It decided to work on the Apple III so that it could break into the office market dominated by IBM. This drive became so strong that Apple prematurely released the Apple III without it undergoing extensive line testing. The product was defective, production was halted and problems repaired but Apple

  2. Reform of the Justice System

    This formal consultation exercise was closed on the 30th of November 2001. The Tribunals for Users programme which is being lead by the Lord Chancellors Department (LCD), establishes to take forward the work launched by Sir Andrew's report. There are around 70 tribunals across the government.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work