Ethical Dilemma Of Organ Transplantation

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According to Pozgar (2016), the demand for organs and tissues for use in transplantation far exceeds the available supply. This is largely due to the increasing success rate of organ transplantation. This disparity between the supply and demand for viable organs has created an ethical dilemma. Since, there are not enough organs to help everyone, it must be decided who will, in effect, live or die. Those charged with making those decisions attempt to use a set of guidelines to determine who the beneficiaries will be. However, when a decision results in the suffering and/or death of another, there are going to be ethical questions. I chose this dilemma for reflection because of the true dichotomous nature of organ transplantation. Someone must die in order for someone else to live. Additionally, with the current demand outweighing the supply of organs available, another ethical “layer” is formed. In…show more content…
Apply one ethical theory and one ethical principle to the ethical dilemma. The consequential theory of ethics can be applied to the dilemma of deciding who will receive an organ donation and who will not. According to Pozgar (2016), the consequential theory of ethics states that a morally right action is one that leads to the greatest good. Therefore, decision makers must ask themselves which recipient will yield the greatest good. An example illustrated by Pozgar (2016), is deciding between a 75-year-old patient with multiple comorbidities, or a 5-year-old patient experiencing organ failure, but is otherwise healthy. Applying this ethical theory, the 5-year-old patient has many more years of life ahead of him/her and that organ transplantation will result in a healthy, vibrant, productive individual. Whereas, with the 75-year-old patient, they may remain in fragile health despite a successful transplantation, and they are approaching life expectancy. Therefore, the most good will come from choosing organ transplantation for the 5-year-old

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