BOX 3-1

Guiding Perspectives and Principles

Common Stake in a Trustworthy System: Everyone in the national community has a common stake in the creation and maintenance of an effective and trustworthy system for providing timely access to transplantable organs and, if organs are scarce, in increasing the number of organs recovered and distributing them fairly.


Acceptable Appeals for Organ Donation: Policies and practices designed to increase organ donation may properly appeal to a variety of motivations for donation, including altruism, community spirit, and reciprocity.


Respect for Persons: Policies and practices designed to increase the rates of organ donation and the recovery of organs from deceased individuals must be compatible with four limiting conditions deeply rooted in the cultural, religious, and legal traditions of the United States: (1) respect for the moral worth and dignity of each human being; (2) respect for each individual’s right to govern the disposition of his or her body after death, including the voluntary choice of whether or not to donate organs; (3) respect for the remains of human beings, as represented in particular cultural and religious practices; and (4) respect for the wishes and feelings of the families of deceased individuals.


Fairness: Policies and practices designed to increase the supply of transplantable organs need to be fair in their distribution of both benefits and burdens, with particular attention to their impact on disadvantaged groups.

to donate the organs of their loved ones. In the event that these principles conflict in the evaluation of a specific proposal, a further judgment regarding which of the conflicting principles should have priority will be required.

Common Stake in a Trustworthy System

Everyone in the national community has a common stake in the creation and maintenance of an effective and trustworthy system for providing timely access to transplantable organs and, if organs are scarce, in increasing the number of organs recovered and distributing them fairly.

The committee’s charge focuses on increasing the number of individuals and families who donate organs. It must be recognized from the outset, however, that everyone has a stake in a robust system for recovering and transplanting organs to those in need. Just as everyone has a personal stake or interest in the availability of enough doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers, as well as drugs and medical devices, to cure or ameliorate



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