Deceased‐directed donation: Considering the ethical permissibility in a multicultural setting

Bioethics 33 (2):230-237 (2019)
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This paper explores the ethics of deceased‐directed donation (DDD) and brings a unique perspective to this issue—the relevance of providing family‐centered care and culturally sensitive care to deceased donors, potential recipients, and their families. The significance of providing family‐centered care is becoming increasingly prevalent, specifically in pediatric healthcare settings. Therefore, this topic is especially relevant to those working with and interested in pediatrics. As the world is becoming more diverse with globalization, assessing the cultural aspect of the ethics of DDD is increasingly salient. We provide a brief overview of DDD across the globe, review prominent arguments both for and against DDD, consider family‐centered and culturally specific considerations, and offer considerations for the development of a policy or guideline. We determine that the practice of DDD is ethically defensible in certain circumstances and congruent with providing both family‐centered and culturally sensitive care. Our analysis is relevant to any country with a diverse population and any healthcare provider or institution that operates under a framework of family‐centered care, such as those in pediatric hospitals.



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Andria Bianchi
University of Waterloo

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