PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?
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PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?


Capella University

PHI FPX 3200 Ethics in Health Care

Prof. Name


Robbing the Deceased: Examining the Ethics of Organ Conscription

Organ transplantation stands as a vital medical procedure capable of saving the lives of individuals grappling with organ failure. However, the persistent scarcity of donor organs presents a significant challenge, leading to prolonged waiting lists and compromised health outcomes. To address this issue, the concept of organ conscription has emerged, involving the procurement of organs from deceased individuals without their explicit consent (Pemberton, 2022). Nonetheless, such a practice raises profound ethical dilemmas regarding the autonomy and dignity of the deceased, as well as concerns about fairness and equity in organ allocation systems. This analysis delves into the ethical considerations surrounding conscripted organ procurement and underscores the necessity of regulating the availability of donated organs.

Moral Implications of Organ Conscription

Organ transplantation holds immense potential for saving countless lives annually. However, the persisting shortage of donor organs results in prolonged suffering for those awaiting transplantation. In the United States alone, over 100,000 individuals await organ transplantation, with kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, and pancreases being the most commonly transplanted organs (American Transplant Foundation, 2019). Organ conscription, while proposed as a solution to this scarcity, raises ethical concerns regarding the dignity and consent of the deceased (Zambrano, 2023). Moreover, there exists a risk of exploiting vulnerable populations without adequate safeguards, potentially compromising the validity of informed consent and introducing unfairness in organ distribution (Martínez-López et al., 2022).

Comparative Analysis of Organ Donation Policies

Diverse approaches to organ donation policies exist worldwide, each entailing distinct ethical considerations concerning informed consent and patient autonomy. In the United States, organ donation operates on an opt-in system, necessitating explicit registration of consent from individuals prior to donation. This approach underscores the importance of respecting patient autonomy and ensuring informed decision-making (Ahmad et al., 2019).

Ethical Dimensions of Fairness and Justice

Access to organ transplantation is indispensable for individuals facing organ failure. Nonetheless, the limited availability of organs engenders disparities in access and allocation practices, exacerbating existing inequalities. In the absence of policies for pre-death consent in the US, harvesting organs from the deceased raises ethical and moral quandaries, potentially exacerbating disparities in access to life-saving treatments (Golden, 2022).

Strategies for Enhancing Public Acceptance

Addressing the scarcity of available organs necessitates bolstering public acceptance of organ donation through multifaceted strategies encompassing education, community engagement, legislative reforms, and family discussions (Lewis et al., 2020).

Significance of Consent in Organ Donation

Consent lies at the heart of ethical organ donation practices, epitomizing the principles of autonomy and self-determination. Regardless of the adopted model, obtaining explicit consent remains imperative to uphold ethical and legal standards (Childress, 2022).

Consequences of Absent Donor Consent

The absence of donor consent can precipitate violations of individual autonomy, exacerbate disparities in access to transplantation, and raise concerns about justice and equity (Hutchinson et al., 2019).

Exploring Alternative Policies for Organ Availability

Addressing the dearth of available donor organs entails exploring alternative policies, such as presumed consent models and educational initiatives, to bolster participation rates and streamline organ procurement processes (Steffel et al., 2019).

Consequences of Prolonged Organ Shortages

Continued organ shortages precipitate adverse consequences, including heightened mortality rates, exacerbated health disparities, and resort to illicit organ markets, underscoring the urgency of adopting effective strategies to bolster organ availability (Neizer et al., 2020).


In conclusion, while organ transplantation holds immense promise for saving lives, the persistent scarcity of donor organs necessitates ethical scrutiny of alternative procurement methods such as organ conscription. Strategies to bolster public acceptance and explore alternative policies are imperative to address the underlying issues and ensure equitable access to life-saving treatments.


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Childress, J. F. (2022). Robert Veatch’s transplantation ethics: Obtaining and allocating organs from deceased persons. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

DeCamp, M., Snyder Sulmasy, L., & Fins, J. J. (2022). Point: Does normothermic regional perfusion violate the ethical principles underlying organ procurement? Yes. Chest, 162(2), 288–290.

Lewis, A., Koukoura, A., Tsianos, G.-I., Gargavanis, A. A., Nielsen, A. A., & Vassiliadis, E. (2020). Organ donation in the US and Europe: The supply vs demand imbalance. Transplantation Reviews, 35(2), 100585.

Madden, S., Collett, D., Walton, P., Empson, K., Forsythe, J., Ingham, A., Morgan, K., Murphy, P., Neuberger, J., & Gardiner, D. (2020). The effect on consent rates for deceased organ donation in Wales after the introduction of an opt‐out system. Anaesthesia, 75(9), 1146–1152.

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

Martínez-López, M. V., Díaz-Cobacho, G., Liedo, B., Rueda, J., & Molina-Pérez, A. (2022). Beyond the altruistic donor: Embedding solidarity in organ procurement policies. Philosophies, 7(5), 107.

Neizer, H., Singh, G. B., Gupta, S., & Singh, S. K. (2020). Addressing donor-organ shortages using extended criteria in lung transplantation. Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 9(1), 49–50.

Pemberton, D. (2022). Biographical lives and organ conscription. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 44(1), 75–93.

Purwaningsih, S. N. (2020, May 20). Organ transplant agreement between donor and recipient by notary. Www.atlantis-Press.com

Sunjaya, A. F., & Sunjaya, A. P. (2019). Combating donor organ shortage: Organ care system prolonging organ storage time and improving the outcome of heart transplantations. Cardiovascular Therapeutics, 2019, 1–7.

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

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