Reconsidering the dead donor rule: Is it important that organ donors be dead?

Norman Fost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The "dead donor rule" is increasingly under attack for several reasons. First, there has long been disagreement about whether there is a correct or coherent definition of "death." Second, it has long been clear that the concept and ascertainment of "brain death" is medically flawed. Third, the requirement stands in the way of improving organ supply by prohibiting organ removal from patients who have little to lose - e.g., infants with anencephaly - and from patients who ardently want to donate while still alive - e.g., patients in a permanent vegetative state. One argument against abandoning the dead donor rule has been that the rule is important to the general public. There is now data suggesting that this assumption also may be flawed. These findings add additional weight to proposals to abandon the dead donor rule so that organ supply can be expanded in a way that is consistent with traditional notions of ethics, law, public policy, and public opinion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
Volume14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tissue Donors
supply
death
Anencephaly
public opinion
Persistent Vegetative State
infant
brain
Public Opinion
Brain Death
public policy
moral philosophy
Public Policy
Ethics
Law
Weights and Measures
Organs
Dead Donor Rule
Haemophilus influenzae type b-polysaccharide vaccine-diphtheria toxoid conjugate
Vegetative State

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Reconsidering the dead donor rule : Is it important that organ donors be dead? / Fost, Norman.

In: Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 09.2004, p. 249-260.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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