Extraordinary advances in science and medicine such as transplantation of human tissues not only bring about previously unimaginable societal benefits but also create profound implications that involve autonomy and belonging, opposing moral considerations, and legal concerns. Today, technology is changing faster than our values. The issue of salvaging organs from the dead to meet the escalating need for human organs for lifesaving organ transplantation has evolved into an intricate web of interdisciplinary concerns and value conflicts; right and wrong are opinions and consensus does not seem to exist. This organ supply-demand mismatch, as well as suggestions for its resolution, has become a major challenge to the transplant community and to those in political and bioethical arenas. A methodical transition to presumed consent, or opting-out legislation, which removes the burden of decision from the family and the burden of request from the healthcare professional, may be the only solution to correct the imbalance between human organ need and availability.
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LG Futterman; Presumed consent: the solution to the critical organ donor shortage?. Am J Crit Care 1 September 1995; 4 (5): 383–388. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc1918.104.22.1683
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