Human Rights Scenario: Man Wants To Donate Both His Kidneys. Is it within his human rights?

Cinders posted on Sep 13, 2007 at 12:33AM
Assume that a man named Mr. Smith, either very charitable or very daring, has already donated his kidney to someone who needed it. He is a generous man who has made many financial contributions to science and public health, and he simply felt he needed to do more as he has done, in his words, "nothing else with his life." Mr. Smith's decision caused discord among his family, who didn't want him to give away his kidney to a stranger. Now, he hears that someone else needs a kidney, someone of the same rare blood type as him, and he offers his second kidney, which would inevitably kill him (You can't live without a kidney!)

He adamantly says that he wants to do this. Without his kidney, the other person, a highly respected scientist, will die.

He believes that the his life is not worth more than anyone else's, and if the scientist chooses to live and he's ready to die, that scientist might cure Cancer some day.

Mr. Smith is perfectly healthy and has no known health conditions.

Does this Mr. Smith have the right to give up his life to save someone else's.

Human Rights 7 उत्तरों

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एक साल  से अधिक पुराना DrDevience said…

The problem with this scenario is, I think, the fear of precedent setting. At first it is all voluntary, but the fear becomes unethical MDs making the decision as to which of the two is more worthy to live. That is what scares people from saying yes, IMHO.
introuble2 commented…
Are आप a real doctor? If yes, can आप see my टिप्पणी दे and reply please? एक साल  से अधिक पुराना
एक साल  से अधिक पुराना Cinders said…
This hypotehtical situation was proposed to the ethics board of an equally hypothetical hospital (IE, the students in my human rights class). We had to write an essay on it. Now in that class, I always argued what was easiest to support with quotes from the text, which wasn't necessarily what I believed.

This is definitely an issue. I should reiterate. The question is actually, based on Mr. Smith's human rights, should the hospital board accept his donation?

He does state that "my life is no more important than anyone else's" which is a statement that works both ways. No one else's life, scientist or not, is worth more than his. He is making the life of the scientist seem more important than his own life.

There were other factors in the scenario that I left out for curtness. But if you want to know them I can list them as briefly as possible. For now, we'll ignore these factors (namely, his family) and assume he has no spouse or dependents.

A single man wishes to give up his life with the aid of doctors in order to save another man.

If he wants to be an organ donor so bad, can't he be a postmortem donor? He has know assurance that the man he saves will do any more good than he could do.

That's my question.
एक साल  से अधिक पुराना DrDevience said…
I would argue that it is his life to give as he sees fit, for whatever reason.
एक साल  से अधिक पुराना harold said…
The human rights aspect is "Yes, he has the right." The question as to whether the hospital board should accept it isn't a human rights question, though. That's for the debate spot.

But rather than dodge it like that, I'll say the hospital should accept the organ donation, assuming it was healthy and in good condition. The origin should not be a concern of the hospital's, assuming the willing donation and the viability of the organ.

Now, is there another aspect to the question, namely, would the hospital have to perform the surgery to remove the kidney? If the hospital had to perform the surgery, then they couldn't accept the kidney, because they couldn't extract it. They would be killing one life to save another, and that is contrary to all medical ethics.
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एक साल  से अधिक पुराना Sappp said…
Point: you don't die without kidney's. You have to be on dialyses and your surviving chances are very slim, but you probably wouldn't die immediately.
And I think it's almost certain the hospital would have to remove the kidney. With live transplant the kidney is almost always extracted at the hospital where the receiver is operated.
And where else should the kidney be removed?
एक साल  से अधिक पुराना Lunatic said…
I think it's within his rights to donate the kidney, but, as the law stands since he would most likely die from its lack, I think it would be considered illegal for a doctor (or anyone) to remove it since it would be assisted suicide.
एक साल  से अधिक पुराना introuble2 said…
How come nobody asks the real question???? This is a real situation. A woman donates kidney to husband, later discovers her son has the same condition and needs a kidney. The woman wants to donate her second kidney to her son. Where does the law and the medical community stand????