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With the exponential rise in the need for organ transplants far outweighing the pool of potential organs and donors, it is not surprising that polarized opinions abound as to who should have access to life-saving scarce resource, such as lungs, livers, kidneys and hearts. Given the shortage, many argue that poor character or arguably negligent health habits should limit one's access to such a scarce and critical resource. Included among the group most widely cited for exclusion include those incarcerated, alcoholics and drug abusers and those living in the U.S. illegally. Many would also argue that even poor health habits such as smoking or obesity, or unavoidable conditions such as a developmental disability should impede one's access for a life-saving transplant. 

On the surface it may seem simple enough to generate a short list of those who should have less of a chance at a transplant, given that the transplant list is long with children, dedicated public servants and others who might appear more deserving. Nevertheless, justifying such a policy from an ethical perspective rather than from our subjective moral intuitions imposes daunting challenges, at best. 

Read the following and then proceed to the Discussion Board activity:

•Module Notes
•Munson text assigned pages
•Jonsen, A. (2007). The God squad and the origins of transplantation ethics and policy. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(2), 238-240.
•Bernstein, N. (2011, December 20). For illegal immigrant, line is drawn at transplant. New York Times.

For this assignment you will be responding from the perspective of a bioethics consultant:

The US Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation is in the process of revising their current policies. Recognizing your prominence in field of bioethics, the Committee has requested your assistance with ranking groups of people for potential kidney, liver or lung transplants. The groups under consideration are Alcoholics, lifetime smokers, prisoners (outside of death row inmates) and illegal immigrants.

As you begin thinking of how you'll rank the groups consider these points:

•Any alternatives that may be available and the relevant cost factors that might be associated with the fair allocation, under the bioethics principle of justice.
•If you do not believe in ranking the individuals, consider what method you would find more agreeable for allocating the organs.
•You must support your opinion with ethical justifications using any of the relevant principles of bioethics and any appropriate theories studied over the past six modules.
Compose your work using a word processor and save it, as a Plain Text or an .rtf, to your computer. When you're ready to make your initial posting, please click on the "Create Thread" button and copy/paste the text from your document into the message field. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it.

Your work will be evaluated using the SHS Discussion Rubric.
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M6D2: Market Resource - Buying and Selling Organs Options Menu: Forum Module 6


Throughout this module, we have discussed the significant gap between the number of people on transplant lists waiting for organs, and the limited number of available organs. Your textbook provides exs of several policies considered to increase the supply of organs. Perhaps one of the most controversial yet compelling of all of the options is that of buying and selling organs. Despite the argument that a free market system of supply and demand could greatly enhance available organs and provide a tangible benefit for the done as well, many are concerned that the sale of organs breaches ethical boundaries. As you reflect upon the discussion board problem, consider whether the arguments for and against buying and selling organs are actually moral objections or policy concerns.

Read and then proceed to the Discussion Board activity:

•Module Notes
•Munson text assigned pages
•Friedman, E. A., & Friedman, A. L. (2006). Payment for donor kidneys: Pros and cons. Kidney International, 69(6), 960-962.

Please read Discussion Scenario #4 on page 671 in your Munson Text: Buying a Liver and answer the following problem paraphrased from Discussion Scenario problem #2:

"...If it's all right to give away organs, why should it be (or shouldn't it be) thought wrong to sell them?" Remember to include justifications for your response based on the theories and principles we have studied throughout the course. 

Science, Academics

  • Category:- Science
  • Reference No.:- M948580

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