Organ Donation or Assisted Suicide – Transplantation&Donation Example

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"Organ Donation or Assisted Suicide" is a perfect example of a paper on Transplantation and Donation. The attempted organ donation of the type demonstrated in the video resource raises a host of legal and ethical issues. One of the legal issues is that it breaks the Dead Donor Rule. According to Truog and Robinson (2003), this particular legal code mandates the medical professionals to declare a patient dead before proceeding to remove life-sustaining organs for transplantation. Central to the scenario relayed in the case is the removal of kidneys and liver, among other life-sustaining body organs from the patient while he is alive (CNN, 2010).

If indeed the medics meet the patient's wish, then they will go against the Dead Donor Rule. Another legal issue arising from the supposed surgical process is active euthanasia. Primarily, active euthanasia is the practice or act of ending the life of another person intentionally to relieve pain as well as suffering perpetuated through an overdose. In the U. S., the largest portion of the states has outlawed the active administration of euthanasia in the healthcare system (Srivastava, 2014).

According to the video resource, the patient wants the medics to extract his pertinent body organs. Doing so equates to the administration of assisted suicide or euthanasia. This is fundamentally the case because the surgical process would inevitably lead to the death of the patient, as he will not survive without the supporting organs (CNN, 2010). Thus, going ahead to meet the patient’ s wish implies that the medics will violate the American constitution, which means that the proposed surgical process is illegal. A major ethical issue, a positive one, is that the attempted organ donation of this type will go a long way to save other lives.

According to the video, there are many people in the U. S. who require transplants so that they can experience an improved quality of life. Extracting the organs from the patient interviewed in the video resource while he is still alive makes sense because the components will still be useful (CNN, 2010). Thus, they can be donated to those who need them. However, if the medics decide to adhere to the Dead Donor Rule, the organs will not be useful to the beneficiaries.

They will already have degenerated due to the disease the patient currently has. Therefore, the organs will be of no use to those who need them the most, which then raises a serious ethical concern. Another ethical problem is that the attempted organ donation is the patient’ s will, which necessarily brings to the fore the issue of autonomy. According to Murgic et al. (2015), the principle of patient autonomy requires that the hospital clients access the right to make decisions regarding their medical care in the absence of the health care professionals trying to influence their resolutions.

The patient depicted in the video has the autonomy to decide the way he does. Therefore, it is a moral and ethical cause not to infringe on his decision to have his organs extracted while he is still alive. I believe that the type of organ donation would indeed deter future organ donors. Knowing that the medical professionals will seek to honor the Dead Donor Rule, future donors will not see it sensible to donate their body organs.

Even if extracted, the organs will not help others because they will already be dead or degenerated (CNN, 2010). Additionally, the extraction will impose unnecessary costs for the family of the donor.  


CNN (2010). CNN: Organ donation or assisted suicide? [Video). Retrieved from

Murgic, L. et al. (2015). Paternalism and autonomy: views of patients and providers in a transitional (post-communist) country. BMC medical ethics, 16(1), 1-9.

Srivastava, V. (2014). Euthanasia: a regional perspective. Annals of neurosciences, 21(3), 81.

Truog, R. D., & Robinson, W. M. (2003). Role of brain death and the dead-donor rule in the ethics of organ transplantation. Critical care medicine, 31(9), 2391-2396.

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