February 23, 2024

Leading bioethicist supports abolition of dead-donor rule

Franklin Miller, of National Institutes of Health
To underscore
the coming controversy about the dead donor rule for organ
transplant, a bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health, Dr
Franklin Miller, contends in the latest issue of the Journal
of Medical Ethics (co-edited by
John Harris) that abolition is the only sensible option:


“Where do we
go from here? We face an unsettled and unsettling situation
characterised by the moral imperative to continue vital organ
transplantation, the entrenched norm that doctors must not kill, and
the increasingly transparent fiction that the brain dead are really
dead. In at least the near future it is probable that we will
continue to muddle through. In the longer run, the medical profession
and society may, and should, be prepared to accept the reality and
justifiability of life-terminating acts in medicine in the context of
stopping life-sustaining treatment and performing vital organ
transplantation.” ~ Journal
of Medical Ethics, Oct 2009