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Organ donation – two new proposals
Organ transplantation and donation has been a perennial topic of discussion in medical ethics since transplantation first became possible. In this issue there are two articles discussing ways in which the number of organ donations could be increased in an ethically acceptable way.
De Wispelaere and Stirton identify the de facto ‘family veto’ as one major problem in cadaveric organ donation (see page 180). They suggest that one way of overcoming this problem would be through a specific advance commitment device which can increase the chance that a person's prior commitment to donate is actually acted upon when the person has died. Their concrete suggestion is that potential donors who register with organ donor registries should not only register their intention to donate but should also appoint a designated second consenter (DSC). The DSC would be a person that was committed to upholding the donor's decision after the death of the donor. The …
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