Organ Donation : Live Or Cadaveric Donors Essay

Organ Donation : Live Or Cadaveric Donors Essay

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Thirty people a day, more than one every hour. That is the average reported number of Americans who die waiting for an organ transplant. In the time it takes to watch an episode or two of your favorite show, someone will die because the organ they needed was not available in time. Donate Life Northwest goes further to explain that approximately 134,000 Americans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Of these, 81% of the people await a kidney, while others may be in need of a heart or lung transplant. There are also those who need a transplant for life-enhancing procedures such as a cornea or tissue transplant. A single organ donor can save up to eight lives1 while a cornea and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of up to 50 people1. With one donor being able to save so many, one might think there would be enough supply to meet the demand but there simply is not. There are two sources of organ donation: live or cadaveric donors. Pursuing solely or too heavily in a live-donor program will result in more kidney donations, but less hearts, lungs, etc. ; there must be a balance of programs and policies accordingly. This paper will first address the policies and ethics of live donations, then shift focus onto the regulations of cadaveric donations. This will involve a look at U.S. laws and acts regarding organ transplantation as well as an analysis of European policies. In order to better the procurement of organ donations, the United States needs to adopt an “opt-out” policy for cadaveric donations while strengthening the already active live donations program.
For organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver and lung, successful donation is only possible from deceased donors - a cadaveric donation. This is not...


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... medical staff find it very difficult to make such an approach. There is no doubt that the most important determinant of the frequency of organ donation is the willingness of the medical and nursing staff caring for potential donors to initiate this process and to undertake the considerable extra work it entails.
Training programs for medical staff that address the highly sensitive issue of dealing with bereaved relatives and making a request for organs are essential. The opting-out or presumed consent policy operates in the five countries with the highest cadaveric transplant rates. The danger is that a presumed consent protocol may run counter to an individual 's and/or relatives ' beliefs yet be in operation before this becomes known. This is a risk which is particularly likely to affect those who are least well-equipped to make an informed choice about opting out.

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