Organ Donation and Transplantation

Does a person in need of an organ transplant have a moral right to obtain that transplant, supposing the availability of the needed organ?

Patients in need of organ transplants have moral rights to get a transplant if the donors have undergone proper education about the process, its benefits, and disadvantages. These may include compensations and health effects thereafter to avoid depression and regret. Secondly, it would be moral to get a transplant from people who have expressed their mandated choice to donate their organs (Center for bioethics, 2004). Patients who have expressed their wishes earlier enough are properly screened for all diseases including hepatitis to avoid further infections and rejection to the recipients. Some patients issue a presumed consent to their doctors to donate their organs once they die since they do not need them (Med Ethics-week 6). Patients receiving such organs are morally right because they are not against the wishes of the donor. In addition, they will not limit their freedom of medical progress.

How should we choose who gets a transplant, supposing that there are not enough organs for all who need them?

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Policies such as medical need, probability of success and time taken on the waiting list assist in choosing who gets a transplant due to their shortages. Patients with a shorter time for survival in the absence of a transplant have the first priority to certain organs than those with a longer survival rate in the absence of a transplant (McMahan, 2007). Patients with a greater probability to improve their lives after a transplant come first than those whose health conditions are worse (Abouna, 2003). Patients who have taken long waiting for a transplant have the first priority than those who come last on the waiting list. Thus using the priority of first come first served.





Abouna, GM. (2003).Ethical issues in organ transplantation. National institute of health, 12 (1), 54-69.

Center for bioethics. (2004). Ethics of organ transplantation, 1-48.

McMahan, J. (2007). Justice and liability in organ allocation. Social research, 1(74), 101-125.

Med Ethics-week 6- transplant tourism learning scenario.