Do Genetic Relationships Create Moral Obligations in Organ Transplantation?

In 1999, a case was described on national television in which a woman had enlisted onto an international bone marrow registry with the altruistic desire to offer her bone marrow to some unidentified individual in need of a transplant. The potential donor then was notified that she was a compatible match with someone dying from leukemia and gladly donated her marrow, which cured the recipient of the disease. Years later, though, the recipient developed end-stage renal disease , a consequence of the high-dose chemotherapy she received earlier to destroy her stem cells and prepare her for the bone marrow transplant. Finding a suitable donor for a kidney transplant proved extremely difficult. Desperate, she requested that the donor registry personnel help her locate the individual who earlier was determined to be a compatible donor and asked this now-identifiable individual to consider donating one of her two normally functioning kidneys for a kidney transplant.
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DOI 10.1017/S0963180102112084
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Lainie Friedman Ross (2002). Solid Organ Donation Between Strangers. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 30 (3):440-445.

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