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Fisher JA. Increasing Organ Donation and the Role of the Family: Recent Developments. 2004.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/2286
Increasing Organ Donation and the Role of the Family: Recent Developments
This year in Australia there have been two significant developments concerning organ donation. First, the death of well-known cricketer David Hookes and the subsequent launch of the David Hookes Foundation and, second, the announcement by Tony Abbott, the federal Minister for Health and Aging, that all states and territories had agreed to introduce legislation clearly stating that the wishes of the deceased should be given effect when they are registered organ donors without the need to seek consent from their next-of-kin. These two developments represent two different approaches to increasing organ donation, but the role of the family in the process is central to both. While the ethical issues involved in pursuing the objectives of the David Hookes Foundation are relatively unproblematic, the Abbott proposal is problematic. The change of policy is a pragmatic response to solving the problem of scarcity, however, the ethical dimension of the proposed change has not been addressed. This paper draws attention to the ethical issues raised by the proposed change of policy and argues that in order for there to be an informed public debate, these issues need to be carefully analysed.