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A novel boundary issue: should a patient be an organ donor for their physician?
  1. D Steinberg1,
  2. E A Pomfret2
  1. 1
    Section of Medical Ethics, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2
    Live Donor Liver Transplant Program, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA
  1. David Steinberg, Section of Medical Ethics, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, Massachusetts 01805, USA; david.steinberg{at}lahey.org

Abstract

It is argued that organ donation from a patient to the patient's physician is ethically dubious because donation decisions will be inappropriately influenced and the negative public perceptions will result in more harm than good. It is suggested that to protect the perception of the physician–patient relationship, avoid cynicism about medicine’s attitude to patient welfare and maintain trust in the medical profession, a new professional boundary should be established to prevent physicians from receiving organs for transplantation donated by their patients.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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