Living Donor Organ Transplantation

T. M. Wilkinson

in Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199607860
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731747 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

Living Donor Organ Transplantation

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This chapter is about living donor organ transplantation. Living donation is of major and growing importance in organ transplantation. Although living donation from adults is no longer especially controversial, the issues it raises are not only important but also raised by the much more controversial sale of organs. Living donation creates what appears to be a conflict between the duty for doctors to do no harm and the duty to respect the autonomous wish to donate. However, on closer inspection of harm and autonomy, the conflict is much less stark. Where a conflict does exist, the chapter argues that people should be allowed to sacrifice autonomously their well‐being to some degree. The chapter then considers whether organs may be taken from children and other incompetents or marginally competent people. The chapter argues that competent children should be allowed to donate, subject to the same caveats as apply to adults, and it shows how the correct view of harm supports organ retrieval from the incompetent in certain cases.

Keywords: living donation; harm; autonomy; voluntariness; consent; children; non‐competents

Chapter.  14183 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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