Archive for the ‘Organ donation’ Category

Bioethics: Ethics and Law of the Human Body and Body Parts

In 2014, body parts, human body, Human tissue, Organ donation on February 17, 2014 at 8:24 am

I spent my one-semester long Sabbatical (2013-2014) at the Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada (TRU). TRU’s relatively new law school is an exciting place to conduct academic research, and the law school’s faculty is comprised of both established and young legal scholars who are very competent and are already making their mark in various fields of legal scholarship. In addition to the huge stock of relevant materials in their library, they have a very useful and fully-fledged e-library; the law librarian, Mrs Mary Hemmings, was very helpful to me and ensured that I got all the materials I needed for my research. The law school’s move to a new and commodious building, equipped with various teaching and research tools, ensures the comfort and resources necessary to engender useful and original research.

I was privileged to be invited to present weekly seminars on Bioethics at TRU. My seminars focused on the ethical and legal issues arising from the biotechnological utilisation of human cadavers and body parts. Particularly, we focused on the philosophical and theoretical conceptualisations of property, its application to the human body and the ethical implications of such a deployment of property theory. My seminar students were both curious and excited by the various topics I presented, and they asked many questions that heightened the interaction and conversations in class.

A colleague at TRU, Professor Ruby Dhand, kindly invited me to present a lecture to her health law class based on my recent article (Body Parts in Property Theory: An Integrated Framework (2014) 40 J Med Ethics 33) published by the JME, which was part of her lecture materials. Her students read the article and asked critical questions that showed strong engagement with the piece.

The Vice President (Academic) of TRU, together with the Faculty of Law, honoured me with an invitation to present a university-wide lecture on the ethical and legal problems surrounding separated human organs. The arrangement for this lecture could not be finalised before I left, but it is still in process.

Remi Nwabueze

Prof Hazel Biggs debates ‘ranking’ patients for organ donation

In 2013, Organ donation on July 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This morning, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Hazel Biggs debated the ethics of ‘ranking’ patients for organ donation with Prof Bobbie Farsides of Sussex University.

A key question under consideration in the media this week (see also the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 this lunchtime, circa 1pm) is whether patients in need of organs – who themselves are on the organ donation register – should be ‘ranked’ higher than those who are not when a suitable organ becomes available; ie a form of prioritising patients according to their willingness to be an organ donor, as opposed to solely considering clinical needs.

Hazel spoke broadly in favour of this approach as a means (among other factors) to incentivise people to join the organ donor list, thereby producing more organs for donation; and raised questions around fairness and equity – ie, people needing organs who were not willing (as opposed to unable) to donate their own to others.

The programme can be accessed here.