Reevaluating the Dead Donor Rule


Authors
Michael Nair-Collins
Florida State University
Abstract
The dead donor rule justifies current practice in organ procurement for transplantation and states that organ donors must be dead prior to donation. The majority of organ donors are diagnosed as having suffered brain death and hence are declared dead by neurological criteria. However, a significant amount of unrest in both the philosophical and the medical literature has surfaced since this practice began forty years ago. I argue that, first, declaring death by neurological criteria is both unreliable and unjustified but further, the ethical principles which themselves justify the dead donor rule are better served by abandoning that rule and instead allowing individuals who have suffered severe and irreversible brain damage to become organ donors, even though they are not yet dead and even though the removal of their organs would be the proximal cause of death
Keywords brain death  death  dead donor rule  organ donation  organ transplantation
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhq009
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References found in this work BETA

On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
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Citations of this work BETA

How (Not) to Think of the ‘Dead-Donor’ Rule.Adam Omelianchuk - 2018 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 39 (1):1-25.
The Ethical Obligation of the Dead Donor Rule.Anne L. Dalle Ave, Daniel P. Sulmasy & James L. Bernat - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1):43-50.

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Abandon the Dead Donor Rule or Change the Definition of Death?Robert M. Veatch - 2004 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (3):261-276.

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