Wrestling With The Tangle Of Ethical Regulations Around Living Organ Donors
A family makes the difficult decision to donate their dying father's kidney before taking him off life-support. The problem: They couldn't find a doctor who was willing to do the surgery.
The Wall Street Journal:
The Difficult Ethics Of Organ Donations From Living Donors
Robert Osterrieder, a 52-year-old project manager, returned home to Pittsburgh from a business trip complaining about problems with his vision. Two days later, he was in the hospital on a ventilator. For the next five months, Mr. Osterrieder fought for his life. His brain swelled, and he underwent numerous medical procedures. He struggled with pneumonia and needed a feeding tube. Finally, as he lay in the hospital unconscious and with little likelihood of recovery, his family decided to remove his life support. But first, they wanted him to become an organ donor. Organ transplants are based on a longstanding rule: You can only take vital organs—a heart, for instance, or both kidneys—from someone who is dead. And removing any organ cannot be the cause of the donor’s death. (Dockser Marcus, 6/26)