Organ Donations

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In 1983, another antibiotic, Cyclosporine was tested and proven to be even more effective than Azathioprine as an immunosuppressant drug for organ recipients. When doctors began using Cyclosporine, the success rate of heart transplants increased dramatically. This drug has been used until the present day. Since the first heart transplant surgery was performed in 1967, moral controversy has arisen with regard to various ideas surrounding organ donations (Sims). These debates revolved around the determining factors that render a potential donor dead, issues regarding buying and selling organs, questions about choosing recipients based on race, religion, economic or social status (Troug), or deciding whether patients registered as DNR (do not resuscitate) should, in fact, not be revived so that his organs can be implanted in someone else. In response to these controversies, various laws have been enacted to ensure that organ donors and recipients are provided with care that is completely ethical (Sims). For Orthodox Jews, there is an added dimension to society’s moral issues that must be taken into account. Halacha is a set of laws sourced in the Bible and explained extensively in the Talmud. Halacha is designed to regulate every aspect of one’s life, and therefore, there are halachos that discuss potential issues related to organ donations. The existence of these halachos plays a significant factor in Orthodox Jews’ hesitation to carry donor cards and their unwillingness to allow a deceased family member’s organs to be donated as well. There are also many halachos surrounding live organ donations, but these procedures have become acceptable among Orthodox rabbis for reasons discussed below. Orthodox Jewish rabbis have discussed ... ... middle of paper ... ...dney donations is unclear, as contemporary rabbis have varied opinions. The kidney donation procedure is an invasive surgery. Doctors remove the kidney, usually the left one, along with the renal artery, vein and ureter, and then insert it into the recipient. In a healthy donor, the remaining kidney immediately begins completing the work of both kidneys. According to National Kidney Foundation, there are a variety of risks involved in donating a kidney including pain, infections at the site of incision, pneumonia, damage to the kidneys, blood clotting, collapsed lungs or allergic reactions to anesthetic drugs (Living Donation). Death is also a possibility; however, the Give a Kidney organization, claims that the risk is extremely low. They estimate that death of the donor only results from about one in every 3,000 kidney transplant procedures (How Safe is Donation).

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