Thursday, October 14, 2010
DONATE LIFE ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS - CALIFORNIA
The 1st Living Kidney Donor Registry--California Leading the Way
California will now have a living donor registry for kidney transplants, and anyone can sign up to donate one of their two kidneys and still live an active life. Also, private employers must now allow workers to take paid time off to make a bone marrow or organ donation. Employers must give 5 days off for those who donate bone marrow, and up to 30 days for those who donate a living organ.
This is a great step for increasing awareness of living donation while supporting donors. More and more people are stepping forward to be altruistic donors--meaning they are non-related nor do they know the recipient. Recognition of this reality supports these individuls and also makes a bold statement about Transplant Ethics (which happens to be my area of professional expertise)
While living donation has been deemed medically acceptable and ethically permissible, these new legislative acts continue to add to strength to the argument. Are the new organ donation laws also stating a new cultural moral expectation? Will society grasp the concept that altruism in the form of organ donation is not a far fetched unbelieveable concept? Does altruistic donation change the scheme of the big picture of transplant ethics? With the rise of altrusic donations and paired kidney donation will donor outcomes create different psychological effects on the donor overtime (as compared to if you have an established relationship to the recipient)?
These (and many more) are questions that us bioethicists will be grappling as we expand legislative capacity to regulate organ donation and transplantion.
**I am a 3rd year law student, graduate student in Philosophy and Bioethics, and a related-living kidney donor (15 months, post-op)