This article tackles the current deficit in the supply of cadaveric organs by addressing the family veto in organ donation. The authors believe that the family veto matters—ethically as well as practically—and that policies that completely disregard the views of the family in this decision are likely to be counterproductive. Instead, this paper proposes to engage directly with the most important reasons why families often object to the removal of the organs of a loved one who has signed up to the donor registry—notably a failure to understand fully and deliberate on the information and a reluctance to deal with this sort of decision at an emotionally distressing time. To accommodate these concerns it is proposed to separate radically the process of information, deliberation and agreement about the harvesting of a potential donor's organs from the event of death and bereavement through a scheme of advance commitment. This paper briefly sets out the proposal and discusses in some detail its design as well as what is believed to be the main advantages compared with the leading alternatives.
- Advance commitment
- cadaveric organs
- donation/procurement of organs/tissues
- family veto
- informed consent
- organ procurement
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Funding This study was funded by the department of Philosophy, Trinity College, Dublin, CRÉUM, Université de Montréal and Manchester Law School.
Competing interests None.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Ethics, organ donation and tax: a proposal
- Opt-out organ donation without presumptions
- Modified mandated choice for organ procurement
- Critical care in the Emergency Department: organ donation
- “Because you’re worth it?” The taking and selling of transplantable organs
- Free riding and organ donation
- The UK Human Tissue Act and consent: surrendering a fundamental principle to transplantation needs?
- Authorisation, altruism and compulsion in the organ donation debate
- Ethics of organ procurement from the unrepresented patient population
- The potential impact of an opt-out system for organ donation in the UK