The Ethical Dilemma Of Organ Donation And Health Care

1956 Words 8 Pages
Organ donation, and the ethical issues surrounding it, has become a topic of discussion in recent years. Most ethical issues involve patients and family, but it can also affect nurses and physicians. The article Organ Donation after Circulatory Death, the authors highlight the ethical dilemmas of organ donation due to “non-heart beating” death. In such cases the patient must die within 60 minutes after being removed from life support to be eligible for organ donation. With the shortage of organs available for donation, the criteria to consider a body for donation has changed from “brain death” to “circulatory death”, making organs available sooner. This change in practice has caused ethical dilemmas among the healthcare environment. In …show more content…
There is an issue with the inconsistency for a standard definition of circulatory death and as a result it can be difficult to identify which patient is a true candidate for DCD. In certain cases, especially in controlled DCD where patient death is expected and viable organs are maintained, patient family may not be well informed on what exactly cardiopulmonary death means (37). Luckily in Sharon’s cases, her family was well aware of the definition and the hospital policies were more that clear enough to comprehend however she failed to be a DCD candidate. In other cases, as stated by The Challenge of Organ Donation after Cardiac Death, health care providers may declare a cardiopulmonary death however one may question the integrity of their service. Did they really do everything in their power to save the patient or were their priorities fixed on obtaining an organ …show more content…
Certain cultural groups, such as some Orthodox Jews and Shintos have strong aversions to tampering with dead bodies. This is a challenge for the healthcare professionals as this may hinder the care of the patient. According to the 2010 survey by Fugate mentioned in the article Organ Donation after Circulatory Death (2011), there is a wide discrepancy between hospital on criteria for DCD and nearly half do not have a clear definition of what determines circulatory death (36). In Sharon’s case the time frame was sixty minutes with irreversible cardiopulmonary cessation for five minutes, however another hospital may be for ninety minutes with death occurring after a two minute cessation mark. There needs to be a further investigation to determine a standard definition of DCD criteria that can be used by all

Related Documents