Organ donation and presumed consent

Essay by msrobinoCollege, Undergraduate October 2008

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STEP 1) Choosing a TopicThe topic I have chosen is "organ donation and presumed consent" as opposed to "required request." As mentioned in the Unit 3 exercise, I feel that this is a very interesting topic because some countries like Belgium rely on presumed consent to help increase their organ donor pool and save more lives. It seems to be a very admirable policy, and if the United States were ever willing to implement a program such as this, we could save more lives as well.

After reviewing the feedback I received from my peers, I realized that not many people are familiar with the concept of "presumed consent" so I will have to make an effort to define this for my audience. I also ran into this issue when I talked to a few friends about it. They did seem to find this a very interesting topic, however, so I feel good about choosing it.

One student commented that she felt a "presumed consent" policy should be put in effect as soon as possible. After being on a donor list for several months, her aunt died of kidney failure because nothing was available.

I also feel that the extra feedback helped me more clearly define the purpose of my paper-not only do I want people to be more aware of what presumed consent is, but I want to provide them with the right facts so they are not afraid of it. There are too many myths about presumed consent that need busting.

STEP 2) Describe two controversies surrounding this topicThe first controversy surrounding this topic is of course the whole idea that a government or medical community automatically assumes they have the right to take a person's organs upon death and give them to whoever needs them. People might...