Cultural diversity and patients with reduced capacity: The use of ethics consultation to advocate for mentally handicapped persons in living organ donation

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (6):519-526 (2001)
Living organ donation will soon become the source of the majority of organs donations for transplant. Should mentally handicapped people be allowed to donate, or should they be considered a vulnerable group in need of protection? I discuss three cases of possible living organ donors who are developmentally disabled, from three different cultures, the United States, Germany, and India. I offer a brief discussion of three issues raised by the cases: (1) cultural diversity and cultural relativism; (2) autonomy, rationality, and self-interest; and (3) the proper use and role for clinical ethics consults.
Keywords altruism  autonomy  cultural diversity  cultural relativism and ethics consultation  developmental disability  living organ donors  love  mentally handicapped  rationality  self-interest  transplant ethics
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DOI 10.1023/A:1014453910107
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