NURS FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

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Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

NURS FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Attempt 1 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

There is a lot of debate surrounding the ethics of organ conscription. Some people believe that it is morally wrong to force people to donate their organs, even if it is for a good cause (Martínez-López et al., 2022). Others believe that organ conscription is necessary and that it is the only way to ensure that everyone who needs an organ transplant can get one. The ethics of organ conscription are a hotly contested topic. Some argue that it is ethical to conscript organs from individuals who have died because it can save the lives of others. Others argue that it is unethical to conscript organs because it violates the autonomy of the individual (Hester, 2018). Both of the sides are backed by strong and effective arguments. Those who argue that organ conscription is ethical, point to the fact that organs are a scarce resource and that by conscripting them from individuals who have died, we can save the lives of others. They also argue that organ conscription is a way of ensuring that organs are distributed fairly. 

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Moral Concerns Surrounding a Policy of Organ Conscription

The legal framework that governs organ conscription in the United States is built on the principles to support transplantation. The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act is a basic government initiative to administer the donation of various human organs. The act allows any adult to become an organ donor. It also provides citizens to gift their corpses to be dissected for the services of medicine. The law prescribes filling out documents before such a gift can be made. Without such papers, relatives or a surviving spouse can make the gift. The act prohibits the trafficking of human organs for personal gains and the policies of UAGA are aligned with developments in medical practices. 

In the United Kingdom, rules and regulations for organ donation are different from the U.S. The government of the UK passed a law that everyone above the age of eighteen will be considered in favor of donating their organ. And this system is commonly called opt-out or deemed consent, while in the U.S the system is commonly called opt-in. 

However, in Spain, the situation is different, it is witnessed that Spain has the highest organ donation in the world. The system that is used in Spain is soft opt-out, but the success of donation is credited to measures like transplant coordination networks and awareness content they create nationally and internationally. 

NURS FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Attempt 1 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

The topic of organ conscription is widely debated favoring one system over another. Although each system relies on the active decision of individuals, people may not act for personal reasons such as aversion to donations, or conflicting moral views. In an opt-in system, inaction can lead to a situation where one individual only wants to be a donor not donate. However, in opt-in individuals who do not want to donate become a donor, nevertheless. It is witnessed through various studies that the opt-out system of organ donation has a higher number of total kidneys donated and it has also the highest number of overall organ transplants. Opt-in systems, however, have a higher rate of kidney donation from living donors. It is noted that countries using opt-out systems still experience a shortage of organs. It means a changing system of consent does not affect the overall rate of donation. Therefore, it is suggested that adopting the aspect of the Spanish model could improve the overall rate of donation rate.

There are a variety of moral concerns that arise when it comes to the policy of organ conscribing. It is argued that this policy could lead to unethical practices, such as people being forced to donate organs against their will (Cherry, 2022). Others worry that the policy could lead to people being denied life-saving medical treatments because they don’t have matching organs. 

There are also concerns about the potential for organ trafficking and exploitation (Cherry, 2022). If people are forced to donate organs against their will, they may be at risk of being exploited in the organ trade. Likewise, if people are denied life-saving medical treatments because they don’t have matching organs, they may be at risk of dying as a result. Ultimately, there are a variety of moral concerns that need to be addressed when it comes to the policy of organ conscribing. Most countries have some form of policy in place regarding organ conscription. This is typically done to ensure that organs are donated ethically and that donors are not taken advantage of. There are a few different ways that organ conscription can be carried out. In some cases, it may be mandatory for all citizens to donate organs upon their death. In other cases, organs may be donated by people who are alive, but only if they give their consent. Organ conscription policies typically aim to strike a balance between making sure that organs are donated ethically and ensuring that people who need transplants can receive them (Lewis et al., 2020).

NURS FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Attempt 1 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

Questions About the Fairness and Justness of Organ Conscription Policy

The issue of organ conscription is serious in many countries, although transplantation has benefits that can save many people meantime it also creates a moral question for many people. The organ conscription policy has associated controversies because the state takes all the organs of the deceased if they do not refuse the procedure during their life. In the opt-out system, the organs of deceased people are transplanted to the patient who is in need, and the consent of the deceased’s relative is mostly ignored. These kinds of policies raise several ethical concerns such as insulting the feeling of relatives and limiting the freedom of choice. Also in religious philosophy, the donation is considered a gift, but organ conscription policies deprive people of this act of charity consequently offending their feelings (Prabhu, 2018). In addition to this, if a person does not know he or she will become a donor after their death then organ conscription policies restrict the body autonomy and free will of the individual. Meanwhile, if a person knows that he is going to become a donor afterward then such policies would not be offensive to the public. There are also possibilities that relatives of the deceased may oppose donation but the absence of an opportunity to refuse is unfair and is a painful experience. Considering ethical concerns associated with organ conscription, it is recommended that, the primary effort of the state should be informing and educating citizens about the policies. It becomes possible for the citizens to choose according to their conscience and can also refuse to be a donor during their lifetime. Another way to increase organ donation is to create an organ conscription network on a local and international level to aware citizen about the need for organ donation. More people will accept organ donation if efforts are being made to disseminate information about organ donation, encourage family discussions, educate medical professionals and students, set up incentive programs, and put regulatory oversight in place may help to combat negative perceptions of organ donation and transplantation, potentially leading to an increase in the number of people who donate organs. Ultimately, it is up to society to decide what it believes is the fairest and most just way to go about organ procurement. In general, it is important to remember that everyone has different values and opinions, which means that there is no one right way to do things. For instance, in Britain, 90% of adults agree to be a donor, but only 36% of people are registered, and only 46.7% of relatives of those who are not on the register agree to organ conscripting (Prabhu, 2018).

Relevance and Significance of the Consent as It Pertains to Organ Donation

The organ donation is a highly valued concept and consent is the very first as well as important thing for organ donation. The procurement of human organ is a lengthy and complex process. This process is passed through the strong framework of expressed consent in the US. The proper process of organ donation cannot be completed without consent. The consent is required to practice transplant medicine. However, it is argued that majority of the doctors consent each other annually. More than a quarter of families decline to agree. During procurement process, more than 20 percent of donated human organs are lost as well. Consent is important in organ conscription because it is attached to moral and ethical issues. Religion, culture, family influence, medical mistrust, and fear of early retrieval as the most important factors negatively affect the process of consent. It means, that an individual will not become a donor until his consent is explicitly stated. In contrast, some countries rely on methods where consent is presumed. This model takes the consent of the individuals for granted which otherwise would have been the total opposite. Organ donation is a concept that is often misunderstood. Consent is key to organ donation, and it is important to understand why someone must give consent for organ donation (Tennankore et al., 2021). Organ donation is the process of donating an organ to someone who needs it. Consent is a voluntary act, and everyone who is involved in organ donation must understand this (Tennankore et al., 2021). Consent is a necessary step in organ donation because it ensures that people are aware of their choices and are willing to donate an organ. A primary argument opposing the presumed or no consent policy in the U.S is that it invades patient autonomy. Invading body organs without consent is wrong and disrespects the deceased’s body. The state is already too involved in personal life and further incursions into body parts would be a step too far. Implementation of such a policy causes social unease and people will gradually turn away from organ transplantation entirely.

Alternative Policies for Increasing Available Donor Organs

 It is believed that organs should only be given to people who need them. Some people believe organ donation should be mandatory, while others believe it should be voluntary (Steffel et al., 2019). Regarding alternative policies apart from opt-in and opt-out, Spain is introducing a soft opt-in solution. This system is different because it allows everyone to become a donor until someone explicitly denies donating. The other aspect that makes the Spanish system different is its centralized and nationalized transplantation system. Another alternative that is been pursued recently is the creation of artificial organs. Significant progress has already been made and currently, heart transplants are tested on a patient who needs them urgently. 

There is a critical shortage of organs available for transplant, and the demand continues to grow (Bastani, 2019). Numerous people have been denied a new and improved quality of life due to the organ shortage problem, which has also significantly raised the price of alternative medical treatments like dialysis. In the United States alone it is estimated that ten thousand people die annually either waiting for transplantation or because of a shortage of organs. If organ donation remains low in the future, then it causes an increase in organ trafficking, the price for the organ will increase, and certainly, the number of deaths caused by organ failure will also increase. More people will depend on organ-supported treatments such as dialysis which will increase the cost of healthcare. Other policy consequences will be switching from an opt-in system to an opt-out.

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There are several reasons why someone might choose to have an organ transplant. Maybe they were born with a congenital heart defect, or their kidneys have failed. Maybe they have lost a limb in an accident or have developed cancer that has spread to their organs. Whatever the reason, transplantation is a life-saving treatment that wouldn’t be possible without organ donors. Some people feel strongly that they want to help others by donating their organs after they die. Others may not be comfortable with the idea of their organs being used by someone else.


Bastani, B. (2019). The present and future of transplant organ shortage: Some potential remedies. Journal of Nephrology, 33(2), 277–288. 

Cherry, M. J. (2022). Bioethics: An international, morally diverse, and often political endeavor. HEC Forum, 34(2), 103–114. 

NURS FPX 3200 Assessment 4 Attempt 1 Robbing the Dead: Is Organ Conscription Ethical?

Hester, D. M. (2018). Organ procurement: The ethical obligation to release organs. The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy, 717–734. 

Lewis, A., Koukoura, A., Tsianos, G.-I., Gargavanis, A. A., Nielsen, A. A., & Vassiliadis, E. (2020). Organ donation in the US and Europe: The supply vs demand imbalance. Transplantation Reviews, 35(2), 100585. 

Martínez-López, M. V., Díaz-Cobacho, G., Liedo, B., Rueda, J., & Molina-Pérez, A. (2022). Beyond the altruistic donor: Embedding solidarity in organ procurement policies. Philosophies, 7(5), 107. 

Prabhu Das, I., Baker, M., Altice, C., Castro, K. M., Brandys, B., & Mitchell, S. A. (2018). Outcomes of multidisciplinary treatment planning in US cancer care settings. Cancer, 124(18), 3656–3667. 

Steffel, M., Williams, E. F., & Tannenbaum, D. (2019). Do changing defaults save lives? Effects of presumed consent organ donation policies. Behavioral Science & Policy, 5(1), 68–88. Tennankore, K. K., Klarenbach, S., & Goldberg, A. (2021). Perspectives on opt-out versus opt-in legislation for deceased organ donation: An opinion piece. Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease, 8, 205435812110221.