The Issue Of Organ Transplantation Essay example

764 Words Aug 21st, 2014 4 Pages
Ever since Joseph Murray performed the first successful human organ transplant of a kidney in 1954 [13], organ transplantation has been a widely debated ethical issue. The allocation of scarce medical resources has been the subject of many debates encompassing but not limited to issues regarding moral worth, financial practicality, legal rights, social status and justice. As the number of people added to the transplant waiting lists increase and the number of convicts’ increase, the question about whether convicted offenders should receive the same level of medical care as law-abiding citizens, which includes the distribution of donor organs, is brought up quite often.
An important aspect of this debate to consider is the difference between social and medical justice. When considering medical justice, the issue of organ transplantation is relatively straightforward. Healthcare professionals are obligated to provide medical care to every human being regardless of social status, moral worth or other non-medical concerns. Therefore, prisoners have the same rights to donor organs as law-abiding citizens do, depending on the severity of their illness. However, social justice does take into consideration non-medical concerns and reaches a different conclusion. This means, whilst social justice encompasses medical justice, other aspects of social justice sway the decision on the rights of prisoners to organ transplants. [4]
On January 3rd 2002, a 31-year old convicted felon…

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