Write a 2-3 page paper that examines the moral and ethical considerations of organ conscription policies and theories.
Scarcity of Medical Resources
For this assessment, you will continue your survey of ethical principles in health care. Especially in our contemporary world, where needs for health care outstrip available resources, we regularly face decisions about who should get which resources.
There is a serious shortage of donor organs. Need vastly outstrips supply, due not only to medical advances related to organ transplantation, but also because not enough people consent to be cadaveric donors (an organ donor who has already died). Munson (2014) points out that in the United States, approximately 10,000 patients die each year because an organ donor was not available, which is three times the number of people killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
But what is an efficient and morally sound solution to this problem? The policy of presumed consent, where enacted, has scarcely increased supply, and other alternatives, such as allowing donors to sell their organs, raise strong moral objections. In light of this, some have advocated for a policy of conscription of cadaveric organs (Spital & Erin, 2002). This involves removing organs from the recently deceased without first obtaining consent of the donor or his or her family. Proponents of this policy argue that conscription would not only vastly increase the number of available organs, and hence save many lives, but that it is also more efficient and less costly than policies requiring prior consent. Finally, because with a conscription policy all people would share the burden of providing organs after death and all would stand to benefit should the need arise, the policy is fair and just.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria: