Extra Credit Opportunity: Philosophy Lecture on Ethics of Organ Procurement

The PSU Philosophical Society would like to welcome all PSU students, faculty, staff and member of the community to our first talk of the 2011-2012 PSU Philosophical Society Annual Speaker Series.  Our first talk of this academic year is by Dr. Mark Price (Columbia College).  Dr. Price an Associate Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Humanities Department.  He specializes in bioethics.  His talk here at PSU is entitled, “Mandatory Cadaver Organ Procurement”.  It will be held on Monday, September 19, 2011 in Russ Hall 409 at 6:00 pm.
“Mandatory Cadaver Organ Procurement”
The scarcity of viable organs for life-saving transplants remains a matter of serious concern.  The United States and most other western countries rely upon an “opt in” policy whereby individuals must indicate that they are donors.  Even then, family members of the potential donor are carefully asked whether they would like to have their loved one’s organs harvested for donation.  Commonly, the answer is “no” and that veto is respected even though the deceased had previously indicated her desire to be a donor.
Policy changes of various sorts have been suggested in the recent dialogue from presumed consent with “opt out” opportunities to commodification to mandatory procurement.  Obviously, mandatory procurement would result in the largest gain in available organs.  At the same time, because it involves a limitation on posthumous autonomy, it is morally problematic.