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Organ Transplantation and Donation

Organ transplantation is a process that should initially include various established ethical rules. Truog and Miller wrote, “Before the development of modern critical care, the diagnosis of death was relatively straightforward: patients were dead when they were cold, blue, and stiff. Unfortunately, organs from these traditional cadavers cannot be used for transplantation” (Truog and Miller, 2019, 259). The concept of a dead brain has simplified the transplant process ethically and legally and has become an excuse for thousands of donations. However, very often, questions arise whether the patient is dead since he looks alive and performs basic processes.

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Arguments about why patients should be considered dead have never been convincing. Once it is determined that all brain areas have failed to work in the patient, they still retain essential neurological functions. Unfortunately, it is pretty challenging to determine whether a person is alive at the time of possible organ transplantation, and not every family is ready to allow doctors to take the life of a possibly living patient. Presumptive consent laws prevailing mainly in European countries state that by default, a person would choose organ donation if they did not choose otherwise. Explicit consent laws require organ donation to be confirmed in advance by government registries.

The fallacy of people about organ transplants raises many questions. Many do not understand how this process takes place since they have never met such a person in their life. However, this does not mean that it is illegal or ethically wrong to transplant organs. Medicine has foreseen possible questions about organ donation and has fixed everything. To avoid further misconceptions, people need to understand that organ transplantation occurs at the prematurely recorded desire of the patient or his family.

To summarize, today’s organ transplantation is a matter of the professionalism of doctors and an ethical and legal one. Each family has the right to refuse organ transplantation of a deceased relative, which will reduce all the risks of his premature loss. Controversy over the permission or prohibition of organ donation will continue until medicine can create artificial organs that can support human life. It is best for the patient to inform one of his relatives in advance about his desire to help other people avoid possible conflicts.


Truog, R. D., & Miller, F. G. (2019). The dead donor rule and organ transplantation. In The Social Medicine Reader, Volume I, Third Edition (pp. 259-262). Duke University Press.

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