Organ Transplant

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The shortage of organs in the United States is leading to dilemmas and moral issues for physicians. They are taking a closer look at the feasible recipients and their potential for future success. The key to a successful transplant is carefully selecting those patients who are good matches and who need it urgently. For example, patients who have matching blood types should receive organs before those whose bodies may reject the implant. One problem that physicians are dealing with is providing organs to recovering alcoholics. People say that, "Patients have a personal responsibility to prevent their own liver disease and therefore should not be considered on an equal basis with other liver transplant candidates"(Van Thiel 1). This is unethical because a large percent of alcoholism occurs do to hereditary genes. Patients who have cardiovascular disease from obesity or lung disease from smoking fall into the same "lifestyle-related" disease category. Alcohol patients should be carefully evaluated and asked questions concerning their problem. Questions such as, do they recognize their alcoholism, and do they have relationships or activities to assist them with their recovery. "Selection for liver transplant recipients should be made with regard to medical necessity and the potential for a successful outcome independent of diagnosis or cause"(Beresford and Lucy 1994). Careful selection of the organ recipients will help distribute the available organs to the correct patients, but another way to solve the organ shortage problem is to start at the beginning of the problem. By discussing organ donation with family members before a traumatic experience occurs, the likelihood of donating organs doubles (Smith, Sandi W). People that are aware of their family's wishes know what they would have wanted. This way no one will disrespect anyone's autonomy and organs will be distributed to those who need them. Organ shortage is a huge problem in the United States,...
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