Organ Transplantation And Vulnerable Donors: Donation Under Emotional Compulsion
During last few decades advancements in medical knowledge and technologies have increased the practice of organ donation. Organ transplantation, on one hand gifts renewed life to the donors, while on the other hand unwanted ethical practices in the field exploit vulnerable donors, such as trend of ‘transplantation tourism’ involving non-related live donors. Beyond this, some delicate and intriguing situations bring the physicians at cross-roads in cases of live related donors’ transplantation. In this paper, I would like to discuss and analyze a case of live donor (un-married girl), where overtly consents to donate kidney to her brother who is breadearner of their joint family. By consenting to donate, the girl jeopardizes her matrimonial proposal as her fiancé is uncertain about her post-donation health status. The transplant clinician, aware of this fact faces ethical dilemma, whether to perform transplantation surgery so as save the life of ailing patient or to abandon it in order to save the future marriage of the girl from being broken. The case highlights multiple ethical issues in Asian socio-cultural context. I have attempted to disentangle the dilemma by applying Mc Donald and Rodney’s framework of ethical decision making.
Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 2010; 1(3): 35-42
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