Thursday, February 7, 2008

Medical ethics 101

There's a news story on that bothers me quite a bit. There is an organization (I don't think I'll mention it) that offers free membership for organ donation. The catch is that they will only donate organs to other members of the organization. They say that it is similar to a "directed donation" of blood for family members, etc.

I would need to learn more about it before I completely condemn it, but at first blush it sounds rather unethical to me. Donated organs should go to the person who has the direst need and the best tissue match, and that's that. They don't go to the person with the most money, or the person who "knows" somebody, and they shouldn't go to members of an organization. When we die, if we're organ donors (and we all should be!), we don't get to choose the recipients of our organs. It holds the possibility of subtle prejudice, and I think that's an ethical road we don't want to travel.

3 comments:

ziggy2315 said...

Is this organization in the United States? It sounds very unethical to me as well. Would members be "bidding" on a kidney or heart and hoping that they were a match. I do not think it would be similar to a "directed donation" of blood for family members etc. at all. There has got to be something in it for this organization so what could it be -- money??

luvrte66 said...

Hi Ziggy--yes, it's a not-for-profit U.S. organization. I really think I want to do further research, because it all sounds very fishy to me. I really don't know that their motivation is, but something about it just gives me a bad feeling.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Beth

queeniemart said...

my best friend, Lori, was on dialysis for 6 yrs and was a juvenile diabetic for her entire childhood and life. She was getting to where she might DIE from the prolonged dialysis and an Amish farmer in an Ohio city 4 hrs away was riding his bike into his small town. A big semi hit him and he died. His brother gave his organs to OSU and because of that, Lori got a new kidney and a new pancreas. It has been 6 yrs. I think that organization should be ILLEGAL.

hugs, lisa