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Organ transplantation raises a host of complex ethical issues. Transplantation often occurs in patients who are seriously ill and may die without the therapy. It frequently takes place in the setting of scarcity, where the demand for transplanted organs outstrips supply. Decisions about who can donate organs (including the definition of death), have implications for the availability of organs for transplantation. In some circumstances, there can be a trade-off between the interests of donors and recipients. Ethical questions relating to pediatric organ transplantation largely overlap with those in adults. In this chapter, I will focus on the most distinctive ethical questions relating to children as donors or as recipients of transplanted solid organs. I concentrate on young children, since the ethical considerations in competent adolescents or older children are very similar to those in adult transplantation.



Book title

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

Publication Date