Organ Donations Revisited

Last week we took some time to discuss what we believe are interesting consent issues, and possibly perverse incentive issues, in the area of organ donation/harvesting. If you are curious, you can view that post here. After reading that post, a few friends of the site shared some thoughts with me that I thought were worth a quick post of its own:

1. Someone with much more of a pulse on medicine and hospital procedures than I have assured me that an accidental harvesting has an infinitesimal chance of occurring. She also noted that, as far as the hospitals she is familiar with, standard procedures would eliminate any concerns about greedy doctors performing harvesting procedures for profit. Though I value this insight, I have to admit that the 'what-if' of the whole thing is still a bit problematic from a personal standpoint.

2. Another reader pointed out that I missed a great opportunity to discuss an even more interesting economic angle on this story. By law, donations in the US are currently only allowed in the absence of remuneration. Such rules are clearly in place at least in part to discourage the practice of people selling body parts, something I have heard rumor of in other nations. However, what of the individual who serves as a donor whose funeral costs can't be covered due to his family's destitution? What about personal choice issues? If I had concerns about unconscious consent in the first post, I supposed I would have to at least pay lip service to the idea that people should be able to choose what to do with their bodies while conscious, as grim as that may be.

3. Others merely read the piece and politely suggested that I lighten up a bit. I can assure everyone that this thought was no less appreciated than the others.

Tip of the cap to E.C., E.S., K.K. and H.J.

No comments:

Post a Comment