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Ethic Of Organ Transplant

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In most countries, the law on organ transplantation is poorly defined, as legislation has not yet been created to cope with this advance in surgery. The existing framework relating to physical assault and care of the dead has no provision for organ transplantation. It is customary to ask the permission of the relatives, but, because organ removal must take place immediately after death, it may be impossible to reach the relatives in time. It has been suggested that there should be a widespread campaign to encourage persons to provide in their wills that their organs be used for transplantation. An alternative is to provide by law that permission is assumed unless removal has been forbidden by the individual in his lifetime. Such laws have been passed in Denmark, France, Sweden, Austria, and Israel. Compulsory postmortem examination, a far more extensive procedure than organ removal for grafting, is required in most countries after unexpected death, and this compulsion is not a matter of public concern and debate

The aim of transplantation research is to allow the recipient to accept the graft permanently with no unpleasant side effects. With current drugs that are used for this purpose, after some months the dosage can often be reduced and sometimes even stopped without the graft's being rejected. In such a case, the patient is no longer susceptible to infections. There would appear to be adaptation of the recipient toward the graft and the graft toward the recipient. The adaptation is probably akin to desensitization, a process used sometimes to cure patients suffering from asthma by giving them repeated injections of small doses of the pollen to which they are sensitive

Another area of ethical concern is the dilemma posed by the shortage of donor organs. Advances in immunosuppressive therapy have put increasing pressure on the supply of donor organs, and medical personnel sometimes find themselves having to determine who among



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