To some of the public population organ donation is a genuine way of saving the life of another, to some it is mistrusted and to others it is not fully understood.
Federal regulations are based on a notion of voluntarism, but the right to refuse participation in research is based more on ensuring that subjects can be the ones to judge how to protect their own interests than on a pure form of autonomous decision making, which would include a right to refuse for any reason or no reason at all. Hence, no consent is required for research deemed to pose minimal risk to subjects — or for research in which identifying information is obscured or from which it has been deleted (which protects privacy and minimizes social risks such as stigmatization or discrimination, but does nothing to recognize subjects' autonomy). And when patients' preferences regarding the kinds of research that may be performed on their tissue are ascertained, this is done as a courtesy, rather than as recognition of patients' rights to prohibit the use of their tissues for purposes of which they disapprove. In a battle over such rights, the Havasupai tribe is suing researchers who took blood for a diabetes-control project and later used it in research about schizophrenia within the tribal community. Although institutions may be disciplined by federal authorities for regulatory lapses, courts have so far refused to recognize a private legal claim based on this sort of alleged violation of the requirements of consent for research.
At present, research regulations are built on a theory of autonomy that is independent of any property right in one's tissue. Thus, although in general patients can refuse or consent to the donation of tissue samples for research, such rights are quite limited. Common law protects people from involuntary excision of body tissue, which would be considered battery. But after the tissue has been properly excised, its use without the patient's consent may be permitted under federal research regulations, if the patient's identity is unknown or adequately obscured.
Alternatively, our relationship with our bodies may be viewed as a trusteeship: even if they are not our property, we nonetheless have extensive and exclusive rights with respect to them, at least while we are alive and our bodies are intact. Even with such a view, bodies and tissues may also be viewed as part of a common heritage of humanity, to be used for the collective good if such use does not unduly infringe on our liberties. This leads to arguments for a public right to use excised tissue, provided that due care is taken to protect the privacy and social interests of the person from whom it comes. Such arguments also support a policy of “presumed consent” for the use of cadavers for tissue and organ transplantation.
[tags: Organ Transplantation Essays]
In other settings, however, calls for increased control by patients over the use of their tissue would suggest that only subsuming the matter under property law would suffice. In the emerging field of regenerative medicine, for example, California's new funding regulations require researchers to honor the limits set by donors of embryos or gametes on the kinds of work that can be done even with donated tissue that has been “anonymized” — a rule consistent with a theory of property rights in tissue. In the field of biobanking (the collection and distribution of tissue and DNA samples), some have called for caution in the common practice of asking donors to waive all rights, on the assumption that property rights exist and waivers may be ineffective if they do not satisfy all the legal rules for property transfers.
The supply and the demand of organ donation are highly uneven.
Most of the donated organs and tissues came from people who already died but in some cases, a living person can donate organs such as kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs and some tissues such as skin, bone, bone marrow and cornea (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2013) as well as blood, stem cells, and platelets (Taranto, 2012)....
Many factors may be present when considering organ donation.
After one dies, he is evaluated if he is suited for organ donation based on their medical history and their age as determined by the Organ Procurement Agency (Cleveland Clinic)....