Ethical Issues in Organ Donation

The history of organ donation

The subject of organ donation is considered to be a noble deed these days. But if we try to highlight the history of this practice, we might observe it to be highly controversial and subject to a number of questions. There are few serious issues that are indirectly or directly linked with organ donation that will discourage you to donate an organ even after passing the terminal stage.

History was made during the 1950s when the first case of a successful human kidney transplant took place. Things went smoothly for some time but by the late 1960s, things went wrong in various ways. It happened because of the insufficient progress made by medical science in the same field. Dr Christiaan Barnard successfully achieved the first heart transplantation on a patient in South Africa in the year 1967. But it didn’t work out in the first attempt as the patient died within a few weeks. Several religious institutes even considered it a sin against the Lord and mankind. As a result, several heart transplant facilities were closed in different parts of the world. It was only a bit later that it was discovered that the patient may have died due to the physiological rejection the transplanted heart had to endure.

Is organ donation ethical in nature?

Well, it is certainly a matter of debate! If we talk from the viewpoint of the current aspects then there are many associated ethical issues with organ transplants. Due to its life saving competency, it is always a matter of debate that some people receive successful transplant on time, while other die waiting for the same. If we highlight the organ donation facts then we will find that on average 74 people receive life saving transplants of organ each day. It is unfortunate but true that nearly 19 people die every day due to the lack of a timely delivery system for the donated organ.

The cases associated with ‘brain death’ and comatose are also ethical issues for debate. There were accusations on several medical institutes in the past that despite of little hope for recovery, major organs were donated from the bodies of these patients. (more…)

Hand Surgery Specialist and Transplants

A hand surgery specialist can perform many types of reparations and reconstructions on human hands. One of the techniques now being offered in some cases is an actual transplant. This is a very complicated operation that requires an expert in this field. It involves taking a donor forearm and hand and attaching it to a patient’s arm. The surgical specialist will need to reconnect nerves, muscles, bones, skin and blood pathways. This may be performed on a person who has suffered the loss of his or her own through an accident of some sort. Here are some things to know about this procedure.

Transplants are Complex

Transplantations are complex not only because of the surgery itself but because of multiple factors. For one thing, donors must align with the patients’ gender, size, complexion and blood type. A burly man would look odd with a feminine hand attached. The size wouldn’t match either and the visual result would be awkward. These donor limbs come from a person who has recently died and opted to be an organ donor or who gave his or her body to science. This is a generous gift, indeed, as it gives the living another chance in having a fuller life.

Another factor in these operations is making sure the patient’s body doesn’t reject the new appendage. One way a person stays well is by rejecting foreign objects or substances in the body. This is a way of maintaining homeostasis, another word for a stable self. Although the new fingers, thumb, palm and forearm are initially “foreign,” the goal is for the patient’s system to accept the transplanted parts as his or her own. This will be done via the use of immune system suppressing drugs. (more…)

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