chapter  8
15 Pages

Acquiring and allocating human organs for transplant: U.S. law

A half century of human organ transplantation has presented law with

numerous challenges: how to help solve a persistent shortage of organs, how to keep up with constantly changing technology, and how to transmit

and reinforce important social values. Law’s most fundamental tasks in this

arena, however, have been to help answer two basic questions: How should

organs be obtained for transplant? And how should they be allocated? This

chapter will summarize features of federal and state law that govern

answers to these two questions. The first part is divided into two major

questions: How does law reduce the likelihood of killing or exploiting

patients to obtain organs? And by what legal authority can organs be obtained from one human being for transplant into another? The second

part of the chapter examines how organ allocation law incorporates factors

such as the ability to pay, medical factors, geography, and donor directives.

How does law reduce the likelihood of killing or exploiting human beings

for their organs?