Abstract

While procurement of organs from donors who are not "brain dead" does not appear to pose insurmountable moral obstacles, the social practice may raise questions of conflict of interest. Non-heart-beating organ donation opens the door for pressure on patients or families to forgo possibly beneficial treatment to provide organs to save others.

The combined effects of non-heart-beating donation and organ shortages at major transplant centers brought about by the 1991 United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) local-use organ allocation policy created potential conflicts, including the fact that candidates for organs become potential donors far more frequently than previously. Hospitals with a major emphasis on transplantation have economic and academic interests that may have been hurt by the relative organ shortage. Some may view non-heart-beating organ donation as a way to restore weakened programs and thus unconsciously compromise recognition of problems associated with non-heart-beating donation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3249
Print ISSN
1054-6863
Pages
pp. 189-198
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-01
Open Access
No
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