Religious discussion of human organs and tissues has concentrated largely on donation for therapeutic purposes. The retrieval and use of human tissue samples in diagnostic, research, and education contexts have, by contrast, received very little direct theological attention. Initially undertaken at the behest of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, this essay seeks to explore the theological and religious questions embedded in nontherapeutic use of human tissue.
Journal of transplant coordination: official publication of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO)
An exploratory descriptive study of donor families and recipients of cadaveric organs was done to determine their feelings about direct contact with each other. Direct contact was desired by 70% of donor families and 75% of recipients. Donor families wanted to see firsthand the benefit of the transplant to another person. Recipients primarily wanted to express gratitude. Both groups think they have a right to meet.
BACKGROUND: Belgian politicians submitted a proposal to rescind the law on anonymity of organ donation and transplantation and facilitate contact between donor families and recipients. It remains uncertain if recipients support this proposal. METHODOLOGY: One liver transplant patient organization (n = 176/249) answered and provided comments on two questions: (i) how satisfied are you with the current principle of anonymity of the identity of the donor and (ii) the law about anonymity should be changed to allow the donor family and the patient to meet.
Heart transplantation is now routinely offered as a treatment for end-stage heart failure, and the "gift-of-life" metaphor has become pervasive in this context, forming the foundation on which transplantation discourses rest. In this article, we question organ-as-gift understandings of transplantation. One can also legitimately think of the transplanted organ as a donation, with distinct implications in terms of the transplantation experience for the recipient. We explored the transplantation experience of 13 heart recipients in Australia.
The analogy between gift-giving and organ donation was first suggested at the beginning of the transplantation era, when policy makers and legislators were promoting voluntary organ donation as the preferred procurement procedure. It was believed that the practice of gift-giving had some features which were also thought to be necessary to ensure that an organ procurement procedure would be morally acceptable, namely voluntarism and altruism.
In the study of organ and tissue transplantation, the focus tends to be on donation. But where there is "giving," there is also "getting:" receiving help. Altruism, helping behavior, and the exchange of benefits have received extensive attention from social psychological researchers. The gift exchange described by anthropologist Marcel Mauss provides a framework for reviewing this social psychological research on altruism and exchange and applying it to transplantation.
An organ donation is based on feelings of human solidarity and altruism. This approach, however, has not improved the organ shortage problem. The following suggestions might help to dismantle the persistent barrier linked to organ donation. (1) Society should be aware that during our lifetime we might be as much potential organ recipients as organ donors. (2) Educational campaigns should integrate the notion that cadaver organs are an irreplaceable source of health for every member of society.
The lack of organs for transplantation is a worldwide problem that has created a moral conflict between the traditional altruistic basis of organ donation and alternative solutions based on utilitarian grounds. Survival of grafts achieved in recent decades after unrelated living-donor kidney transplantation between spouses is longer than with deceased donor transplantation. This experience justified the extension of kidney donation beyond the traditional close family relationships including: anonymous donors and paired exchange programs.