ORGAN transplants may seem almost routine procedures nowadays, but they remain mired in anxieties and ethical challenges.
The number of people needing a new organ vastly outweighs the supply, because less than 1 per cent of all deaths take place in a manner that makes organ donation medically possible.
That’s why some doctors are now seeking ways to allow more dying patients become donors, even challenging long-held ethical principles about the boundary between life and death. Others say the methods being explored go too far, and could jeopardise organ donation all together.
After all, most transplants happen only when a family, in the middle of what is often a sudden and untimely bereavement, consent to their loved one’s body being treated in ways that could be seen as unnatural and brutal. Is it ethical to push such families further, if it could save lives?
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