Legal Briefing: Organ Donation
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Hamline University - School of Law
August 3, 2010
Journal of Clinical Ethics, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2010
Since 2009, Professor Pope has authored a quarterly "Legal Briefing" column for the Journal of Clinical Ethics. Each briefing comprehensively reviews legal developments concerning a particular issue in clinical bioethics. The Journal of Clinical Ethics owns the exclusive copyright to distribute the full-text content.
This issue’s "Legal Briefing" column covers legal developments pertaining to organ donation and allocation. This topic has been the subject of recent articles in this journal. Organ donation and allocation has also recently been the subject of significant public policy attention. Over the past several months, legislatures and regulatory agencies across the United States and across the world have changed, or considered changing, the methods for procuring and distributing human organs for transplantation.
Currently, in the United States, more than 100,000 persons are waiting for organ transplantation. In China more than 1.5 million people are waiting. Given the chronic shortage of available organs (especially kidneys and livers) relative to demand, the primary focus of most legal developments has been on increasing the rate of donation.
These and related developments are usefully divided into the following thirteen topical categories: (1) Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, (2) Presumed Consent and Opt-Out, (3) Mandated Choice, (4) Donation after Cardiac Death, (5) Payment and Compensation, (6) Donation by Prisoners, (7) Donor Registries, (8) Public Education, (9) Other Procurement Initiatives, (10) Lawsuits and Liability, (11) Trafficking and Tourism, and (13) Allocation and Distribution.
Keywords: organ donation, organ transplantation, consent, medical ethics, health law
JEL Classification: K32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 5, 2010 ; Last revised: July 1, 2014
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