Organ donation: Who should decide?—A canadian perspective [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (1):123-128 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper examines an under-explored issue in organ donation: whose decision making authority should be privileged posthumously in the context of known, explicit consent for donation? Current practices in Canada support the family as the ultimate decision maker, despite the existence of legislative support in many Canadian provinces for the potential donor as legitimate decision maker. Arguments for and against privileging the family and the potential donor are identified. Informing the question of “who should decide” are considerations of individual and relational autonomy, distributive and social justice, personhood, and arguments “from distress”. Tensions and competing obligations emerge from an exploration of these considerations that call for further, inclusive dialogue and deliberation on this important organ donation issue.

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