Opt-out and Consent

Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (10):1-4 (2015)

Authors
Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
A chief objection to opt-out organ donor registration policies is that they do not secure people's actual consent to donation, and so fail to respect their autonomy rights to decide what happens to their organs after they die. However, scholars have recently offered two powerful responses to this objection. First, Michael B Gill argues that opt-out policies do not fail to respect people's autonomy simply because they do not secure people's actual consent to donation. Second, Ben Saunders argues that opt-out policies do secure people's actual—if not explicit—consent, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. I argue that Gill and Saunders’ arguments are not successful. My conclusion does not imply that jurisdictions should not implement opt-out policies—their failure to secure people's actual consent may be outweighed by other considerations. But, my conclusion does imply that Gill and Saunders are mistaken to claim that opt-out policies are respectful of people's autonomy.
Keywords opt-out  organ donation  organ donor registration policies  opt-in  consent
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2015-102775
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Normative Consent and Opt-Out Organ Donation.B. Saunders - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (2):84-87.
Opt-Out Organ Donation Without Presumptions.B. Saunders - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (2):69-72.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ethics and Phishing Experiments.David B. Resnik & Peter R. Finn - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (4):1241-1252.

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