Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Part II: Undocumented Organ Donor

Here are some responses to yesterday’s post on this subject.


Response 1: I cannot think of any compelling moral reason not to use the living donors for this person regardless of their alien status as long as no one is burdened against their will. This is to say if the insurance is willing to pay for the donors as well as the recipient (including follow-up for complications) and if the donors are giving fully informed consent then what would be the argument against doing so. It is a gift and alien status really is of no consequence if the burdens are accepted.

The policy of the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) 6.2 clearly states that a resident alien cannot not be discriminated against for transplantation if they fulfill all of the other requirements for transplantation. I can understand recipient not getting the transplant (though I may not agree with it) but cannot see how being a donor would disqualify.

Response 2: Seems to me that, if one eliminates the reimbursement issue, what you are left with is this question: Are people without the "proper" paperwork somehow of lesser status as human beings, and thus entitled to a lesser standard of care?

I hope the answer to that is obvious.

Response 3: The other side of the coin is not whether the “donee” is entitled to the same standard of care. It is whether the “donors” of organs are in the same vulnerable position as prisoners, and therefore not ethically allowed to donate organs.

The donors are in the unique situation of assuming significant risks with no benefits from the procedure and therefore should be entitled to greater protection from coercion.



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