For this assessment, you will continue your survey of ethical principles in health care. Especially in our contemporary world, where needs for health care outstrip available resources, we regularly face decisions about who should get which resources. There is a serious shortage of donor organs. Need vastly outstrips supply, due not only to medical advances related to organ transplantation, but also because not enough people consent to be cadaveric donors (an organ donor who has already died). Munson (2014) points out that in the United States, approximately 10,000 patients die each year because an organ donor was not available, which is three times the number of people killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. But what is an efficient and morally sound solution to this problem? The policy of presumed consent, where enacted, has scarcely increased supply, and other alternatives, such as allowing donors to sell their organs, raise strong moral objections. In light of this, some have advocated for a policy of of cadaveric organs (Spital & Erin, 2002). This involves removing organs from the recently deceased without first obtaining consent of the donor or his or her family. Proponents of this policy argue that conscription would not only vastly increase the number of available organs, and hence save many lives, but that it is also more efficient and less costly than policies requiring prior consent. Finally, because with a conscription policy people would share the burden of providing organs after death and would stand to benefit should the need arise, the policy is fair and just. By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria: Munson, R. (2014). (concise ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth. Spital, A., & Erin, C. (2002). Conscription of cadaveric organs for transplantation: Let’s at least talk about it. (3), 611–615. Do you consider the policy of organ conscription to be morally sound? Write a paper that answers this question, defending that answer with cogent moral reasoning and supporting your view with ethical theories or moral principles you take to be most relevant to the issue. In addition to reviewing the suggested resources, you are encouraged to locate additional resources in the Capella library, your public library, or authoritative online sites to provide additional support for your viewpoint. Be sure to weave and cite the resources throughout your work. In your paper, address the following:

The policy of organ conscription, which involves removing organs from the recently deceased without obtaining consent from the donor or their family, poses a complex ethical dilemma in the field of healthcare. This assessment aims to critically evaluate the moral soundness of this policy by using cogent moral reasoning and relevant ethical theories or moral principles.

One ethical theory that can be applied to this issue is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism posits that the morally right action is the one that maximizes overall happiness or well-being for the greatest number of people. Supporters of organ conscription argue that this policy would vastly increase the number of available organs and, therefore, save many lives. From a utilitarian perspective, if the benefits of organ conscription outweigh the potential harms, then this policy can be deemed morally sound.

According to Munson (2014), approximately 10,000 patients in the United States die each year due to the unavailability of organ donors, which is three times the number of people killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. If the implementation of organ conscription could significantly reduce this number and save lives, then it aligns with the utilitarian principle of maximizing overall well-being. This argument gains further support when considering the principle of distributive justice, which emphasizes fair distribution of resources. With organ conscription, the burden of providing organs after death would be shared among individuals, and all people would stand to benefit in case they require an organ transplant in the future.

However, opponents of organ conscription raise several moral objections. One prominent objection is the violation of autonomy and individual rights. Removing organs from a deceased individual without their prior consent or the consent of their family disregards the principle of respect for autonomy, a fundamental ethical principle in healthcare. Autonomy refers to an individual’s ability to make decisions about their own body and healthcare. By not obtaining consent, organ conscription infringes upon an individual’s autonomy and right to control what happens to their body after death.

Furthermore, the policy of organ conscription raises concerns about potential abuse and exploitation. Allowing for the removal of organs without consent could potentially lead to the commodification of organs, with a market emerging for illegally obtained organs. This raises questions about the ethics of allowing individuals to sell their organs, which is another controversial topic in the field of healthcare. Selling organs raises concerns about exploitation of vulnerable individuals and the potential for coercion or financial pressure to influence decisions regarding organ donation.

The principle of beneficence, which emphasizes the obligation to do good and promote the well-being of others, also comes into play when considering the policy of organ conscription. While it is undeniable that organ conscription could potentially save lives, it is important to consider the potential psychological and emotional harm that may result from disregarding the wishes of the deceased or their family. The grieving process and the ability to honor the autonomy and wishes of the deceased play significant roles in the ethical provision of healthcare. Organ conscription may undermine these important factors and cause unnecessary distress and harm to individuals involved.

In conclusion, the policy of organ conscription presents a complex ethical dilemma in healthcare. While utilitarianism supports the potential benefits of increasing the number of available organs and saving lives, opposition arises from concerns about individual autonomy, the potential for exploitation, and the overriding principle of beneficence. Ultimately, the moral soundness of organ conscription depends on the balance between these ethical considerations and the overall impact on the well-being of individuals and society as a whole. Further exploration and ethical analysis are required to address these concerns and arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the issue.