Organs for the rich and cute: Should patients campaign for their own donors?
The Canadian Society of Transplantation has decided organ solicitation is “ethically and legally acceptable”
This article was written byOct. 23, 2016
Kidneys for the famous; livers for the cute and compelling — in the age of social media, should hospitals let patients campaign for their own organ donors when hundreds die waiting for transplants each year?
A national committee of bioethicists and doctors has grappled with that thorny question for months. The result, released this week by the Canadian Society of Transplantation, is a report that wades through a host of issues raised by the public solicitation of organ donors. In the end, the authors conclude the practice is “ethically and legally acceptable,” essentially because it doesn’t hurt anyone.
“The benefits really outweigh the concerns,” said Dr. Atul Humar, the society’s president and director of the transplant program at the University Health Network in Toronto.
“It does raise awareness for organ donorship in general, and we currently have a severe shortage of organ donors everywhere in the country,” he said.
The report was prompted by a lack of legislation or guidance on this issue for transplant programs, Humar said. There have also been some high-profile campaigns that garnered huge media attention recently, a phenomenon Humar said he’s seeing more and more thanks in large part to the amplification of such appeals in the time of Twitter and Facebook.
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