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Nkosinathi Mokoena
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Ethics of Organ Transplantation

03 August 2012, 15:23
The point of departure of the organ transplant could be traced back to 1954, when Ronald Lee Herrick donated one of his kidneys to his brother, Richard. The surgery was led by Dr. Joseph Murray, who later won a Nobel Prize for developing the surgical technique regarding kidney transplants. The surgery took place in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1967, Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on the third of December 1967. This even took place in South Africa, Western Cape Province at Groote Schuur Hospital.

The Organ transplant was devised to supplant damaged organs from human bodies. An organ transplant is a surgical operation where a failing or damaged organ in the human body is removed and replaced with a new one. An organ is a mass of specialized cells and tissues that work together to perform a function in the body. The heart is an example of an organ. It is made up of tissues and cells that all work together to perform the function of pumping blood through the human body. 
As I was doing some research about this issue, I developed some questionnaire that I would like people to participate on. It has been argued that in Beijing - State media are quoting a top health official as saying China will phase out the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners.

As a result, I have pondered that there ethical issues that needs to be taken into consideration even though they`re may be too complex. Thus, I want people to try and answer these questions as honest as possible. Transplantable organs are scarce, that is a fact. Knowing that there are more people who need organs than there are organs available, how would you answer the following questions?

Before you even answer, be specific if your answers are based on a belief of equal access or maximum benefit distribution?

1. Should somebody who has received one organ transplant be prearranged for a second transplant? Or should individuals who have not had a transplant be given primacy over those who have previously had one?

2. Should individuals whose way of life choices (smoking, drinking, drug use, obesity, etc.) smashed their organ be assumed a chance at an organ transplant?

3. Should suicidal individuals be prearranged an organ transplant? What if they tried suicide in the earlier but are not presently intending suicide?

4. Should individuals who have young children be given a first preference for an organ transplant over a single person over and elderly person? Must age be a determining factor if one gets an organ or not and whether or not a person has children even matter?

5. Should individuals who cannot have the funds for expensive anti-rejection treatments be approved over for a transplant? Should individuals who do not have any medical insurance and cannot afford to reimbursement for a transplant be permissible to go on the countrywide waiting list?

6. Should condemned prisoners receive organ transplants? What if they are serving a life sentence without parole?

These are highly sensitive questions and answers may differ from one person to another. And this is also a controversial topic since anyone can be required to donate or may require donation as time goes, you will never know.
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