Compulsory Organ Retrieval: Morally, But Not Socially, Justified.
The number of patients with organ failure who could potentially benefit from transplantation continues to exceed the available supply of organs. Despite numerous efforts to increase the number of donors, there remains an enormous mismatch between demand and supply. Large numbers of people still die with potentially transplantable organs remaining in situ, most frequently as a result of family objections. I argue that there are no persuasive moral arguments against mandated organ retrieval from all dead individuals who meet clinical criteria. However, because of continuing endemic prejudice in United States society and its healthcare system and the distrust this engenders, I conclude that proceeding with a policy of compulsory organ retrieval, even if morally unobjectionable, would not be warranted.
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