web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


New Organ Transplant Guidelines Raise Ethical Questions


The new guidelines would do away with a specific amount of time that transplant surgeons must wait to declare cardiac death, leaving that determination to the doctors on a case-by-case basis.

Gail Van Norman, who is a bioethicist at the University of Washington, said that according to the new UNOS guidelines, “every hospital in America can now develop its own definition of ‘dead,’ and that is profoundly disturbing. . . . We are, it seems, admitting that we are willing to take the chance of procuring organs from someone who is not dead yet.”

Those who support the changes in the transplant rules claim that they are simply catching up with the current state of medical knowledge and practice. They also argue that the new guidelines help to satisfy the wishes of those do who want to donate their organs after their deaths.

“The ultimate goal is to facilitate the dying wishes of patients who wish to be donors and save the lives of the 112,000-plus patients who are in need,” said Charles Alexander, the immediate past president of UNOS. “We are always very aware of our public trust.”

However, opinion within the medical community on the changes in transplant rules is divided. Robert Veatch, a Georgetown University bioethicist, who serves on the separate, 31-member UNOS ethics committee, says that at a recent committee meeting in Chicago, there was an emotional discussion over whether the medical state of DCD patients really should be considered “irreversible.” He called the debate, “a remarkably heated battle.”

Michael A. Grodin, a professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University suspects the motives of the transplant community saying, “The bottom line is that they want to do everything they can to increase organ donation.”

They new UNOS guidelines also identify certain types of patients, such as those with severe spinal cord injuries, and terminal diseases such as muscular dystrophy and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as potential organ donors before they reach the end stage. Critics worry that this will encourage doctors to subtly pressure these into voluntarily foregoing the most heroic medical measures in order to gain access to their organs for transplant that much sooner.

Critics of the new UNOS standards say that they increase the risk that potential organ donors will be treated more like living human tissue banks than critically sick patients who deserving every chance to live, or to have their wishes to die peacefully respected.

“This change in policy creates the appearance that the patient is always being evaluated as a possible donor, which I think would make the public uneasy, and rightfully so,” said Leslie Whetstine, a Walsh University associate professor of medical ethics.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “New Organ Transplant Guidelines Raise Ethical Questions”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A minaret seen towering over the Mediterranean sea, near Tel Aviv-Yafo / Jaffa. (file)
EU Receives Warning ISIS Infiltrating Among Migrants
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

You’re not seeking perfection. You’re seeking a life that an average person can manage and feel good about. Don’t feel pressure to change everything at once.

South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

book-Culture-Shock

In Culture Shock, readers will also come to identify with a culture from the other end of Orthodox Jewry’s spectrum.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Our Sages have told us exactly how we should act – and how our children should act – in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers.

A second supposed difficulty actually becomes a reason to corroborate that Amestris is Esther.

I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

How efficient to kill two birds with one stone – or booking. Actually three birds, since I invited a man I had commiserated with while waiting my turn to join me.

My children encouraged me to date and even set me up with a very special man.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

More Articles from Joel Mandel
boo-leon-reich

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

One of the most difficult moral aspects of organ transplantation is the fact that in many cases, the organ donor must be declared clinically dead before the life-saving surgical procedure can begin.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/new-organ-transplant-guidelines-raise-ethical-questions/2012/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: