Graduate studies at Western
American Journal of Bioethics 9 (8):3 - 10 (2009)
|Abstract||It is widely and firmly held that it is ethically impermissible to take organs from the dead if they earlier expressed a wish not to be a donor. We share that intuition and feel a visceral distaste towards the taking of organs without permission. Yet we respond quite differently to a thought experiment that seems analogous in the morally relevant ways to taking organs without consent. This thought experiment elicits from us (and most others) the belief that we can justifiably go against the wishes of the living about how they later want their remains treated when doing so saves lives. It appears that our responses are inconsistent. We tentatively put forth reasons why it may be better that our response to the thought experiment should be preserved and support for a consent-based organ procurement policy abandoned.|
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