The 4 Marymount Rotaract students who will compete in the 2-District Ethics Form on April 5 gave us a practice presentation.  They discussed the ethics of Organ Transplantation in relation to the Rotary 4-Way Test.  Victoria Perez spoke on Truth, Jazmyn Cano spoke on Fairness, Angelina Gorbaseva spoke on Goodwill and Better Friendships, and Fray Reyes spoke on Beneficial effects.
Organ transplantation is a prime example of how new technology has changed many aspects of medical services and introduced new ethical dilemmas.  Transplantable organs now include kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and pancreas, as well as tissues such as corneas, skin and heart valves.  Organ donors may be living volunteers, brain dead, or dead by circulatory death.
Transplantation raises many bioethical issues, such as the definition of death, how and when to obtain consent for removing an organ for transplant, and whether to allow payment for organs for transplantation.  Other ethical issues include transplantation tourism, social and economic pressure to donate organs, and organ trafficking.  These practices could violate human rights or exploit the poor (such as selling a kidney to support a family), cause unintended health consequences, and provide unequal access to services based on socioeconomic status.
There is concern that demand for the supply of organs may conflict with respect for the right to life, as opposed to allowing a “mutually beneficial” transaction between 2 consenting adults under fully-informed consent.  There are controversies on the boundary between life and death, and when to stop end-of-life care and start harvesting organs before they deteriorate.
In addition, there are many more patients on the recipient waiting list than there are willing and medically suitable donors.  Donors must be a close enough tissue-match to the recipient to reduce the chance of organ rejection, which would result in loss of the organ and the need for urgent surgical removal and replacement with another donated organ (if available).
Our Marymount Rotaractor Team will compete at the 2-District Ethics Forum at Loyola Marymount University on April 5 at 8 AM.