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Examples of Organ Transplants Ethics

Case Study 5: Organ Transplants Ethics


Health care ethics promote positive service delivery. They have an effect on the type and kind of health care decisions that are made within the organization. The decisions in health care organizations are sometimes not the easiest. For example, health care officers are supposed to decide which specific patient will qualify for a given health care service. Sometimes, the doctors want to treat patients but because of the right of autonomy and the right to refuse, the patient may become adamant and he or she may not want to get the treatment being offered by the organization. Therefore health care officials within the organization do face a lot of dilemma resistance in their bid to continuously offer the best treatment and care to patients. In this chapter, the specific ethical dilemmas concern organ transplants. Sometimes, in medical ethics scenarios, there is also the challenge of safety and efficacy of the transplanting procedures. For a new transplant, it may be unethical for the health care institution to test a procedure on the patient.

Case Study 5

The case study is about the concept of first come first served. There are two patients requiring a cornea transplant. The scarcity of the organ makes the health care officer make a decision on which patient deserves to go first.

It is ethical to apply the principles of first come first serve when a health care service is scarce. This principle helps the doctor make the decision because he or she has to choose the person who came first and the one who came last has to wait. The candidates are in relevantly similar situations. While one is alcoholic and potentially has additional health care challenges, both of them, according to the case study, require a cornea transplant. The other underlying health care challenge of one member from the two groups of patients who have come to seek medical care should not sufficient.

The supporting points for this decision are as follows: it will lead to the efficient allocation of resources in the facility. The allocated resources are optimally used. It will be compliant with the principle of fairness. As an ethical principle, the idea of fairness is allowing the organization to act in a manner that upholds justice in the processes. The doctor becomes a man or a woman of honor and equity if they can apply the principles of fairness in selecting the patient who needs the transplant. If the first come first served decision is not adhered to, there will be too many queues.

Relevance to the patient’s social position

In this section, there is an analysis of whether the action taken is relevant to the position of the patients.

Why poor patients get turned down for organ transplants?

Poor patients are often turned down when it comes to receiving organ transplants. The rich patients are often given the upper hand when they require an organ transplant procedure. The patient’s social position matters because organ transplants are intricately detailed and complex medical procedures. It may require the patient to be placed in the Intensive care units and the doctors are paid huge sums of money to be part of the process.

In the absence of actual or relevant insurance, it may become quite hard for a patient who hails from a poor family from going through the whole process. The social position of one patient may hinder them from receiving the transplant because they cannot afford it. Adopting a utilitarian ethical stance may compel the hospitals to reduce the cost of transplants so that many patients can benefit.

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