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The Dilema of Organ Donation Why We Say Yes No or Nothing at All

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In patients with end-stage organ failure, current medicine offers organ transplantation. However, the number of patients needing organ transplantation far outweighs the number of organs available for transplantation (Bell, 2003). This is inevitable since, for transplantation, the only suitable organ should be live. There have been enormous advancements in transplant science, which makes it possible to avail the organs from the cadavers with brain death. however, ethical and legal policies require consents well in advance to facilitate organ removal with appropriate measures to preserve it until the time of replacement surgery (Grenvik, 1988). Moreover, current science dictates that the transplanted organ must be compatible with the recipient in order to avoid rejection. This calls for consent on the part of a donor to undertake the tests for tissue typing. Riether and Mahler (1995) indicated two varieties of the situation may arise when a moribund unrelated donor consents for donation and necessary testing for a prospective recipient. However, in some situations, a living related donor is called for consent to the process of donation for a patient suffering from potentially fatal organ failures (Riether and Mahler 1995). As expected, the discrepancy in numbers of donors to recipients has led to the commoditization of transplantable organs through unethical organ trade. A WHO (2010) document indicated that in most developed countries, there are rigorous and stringent policies to regulate the whole affair of organ transplantation, and even then, it is not possible to regulate the organ trade, due to the fact that there are gross imbalances in the supply of donor organs in comparison to the demands (WHO, 2010). These problems have been further compounded by the fact that in most cases of organ failure, there is a great paucity of good medical care, and thus organ failure and need of transplantation have reached an epidemic proportion (Landau, 1996).