Organ Transplantation Case Study

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Organ allocation and transplantation happen every day and much is to be considered before surgery can begin. There are more needs than what are supplied, so it is vitally important to make the best possible choices in deciding recipients of organs. Not only does the choice need to be made medically, but ethically as well. How does a person decide who is more deserving? Can the patient survive after the transplant and have improved quality of life? Does age or advancement of the disease process affect the decision? These are all vital questions to consider ethically. For instance, there might be a time when a decision has to be made whether a prisoner receives an organ transplant over a law-abiding citizen. In the process of organ allocation,…show more content…
Over 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant to save their lives. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.) Organ allocation is vitally important to ensure the best case scenario for the organ being transplanted and the person receiving it. When given the choice between two people it can be very hard to weigh the options and choose. For that reason, there are lengthy precautions taken to make sure the organ gets sent to the right person. Screenings are done to filter the best possible matches and then ethical committees have meetings to decide the best choice. At this moment there is a decision to be made between two men with very different situations and both needing a heart transplant for survival. The first is: Mr. Rodriquez, a 33 year old, who is currently serving a 15-year sentence in a state correctional facility for robbery. He is healthy other than a mild case of hypertension and viral cardiomyopathy. He will be eligible for…show more content…
Based on the ethical principle of justice, there should not be judgement based on a man being in prison. I fully believe Mr. Rodriquez is the best choice because he does not have as many health problems, he is younger, and everyone deserves a second chance in life. If given the opportunity for a second chance, who knows what he might become. He could go on to be a minister of the gospel or be a part of jail ministry. He is closer to the hospital for the heart transplant as well, which is very important. Surgery has to be performed in under four hours, while the heart is still viable. (Roth, 2012) It would take half of that time for Mr. Smith to arrive at the hospital. Mr. Smith has multiple health problems that decrease his likelihood of survival. Most heart recipients are usually under 65 years old and need to have minimal health problems. Survival rates depend on the overall health status. (Roth, 2012) In this instance, if we are looking at both men based on health, age, and longevity then Mr. Rodriquez is the obvious choice. Ethical justice means we cannot look at them based on their situations or social status and that is what I tried to do. I wanted to look at each situation and decide who could have a higher chance of survival. Ethically I believe that is how you make the best decision in this
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