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An empirically informed ethical analysis of directed and conditional deceased organ donation

banner.jpgQueen Elizabeth Hospital Charity


Investigator: Greg Moorlock

Supervisors: Professor Heather Draper (Lead & grant holder), Dr Jonathan Ives & Mr Simon Bramhall

Operating

Demand for organs available for transplant has traditionally outstripped supply, and continues to do so. Directed and conditional donation occurs when an organ donor or his/her family requests that donated organs are given to a particular person or type of person, or withheld from a particular person or type of person. Conditional and directed deceased donations are not generally permitted within the UK, and this could be responsible for some people choosing to not donate organs.

This project defined the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable conditional and directed donation by integrating qualitative data with a philosophical analysis of the ethical issues surrounding donations of these types. Potential donors, potential organ recipients and transplant staff were interviewed to gather qualitative data which were then analysed to establish the ethical thinking that underpins the beliefs of those involved in the transplantation process. The themes from this qualitative analysis were integrated with a conventional ethical analysis to produce an empirically informed ethical analysis which takes into account the views and beliefs of those involved in the transplantation process.

Outputs
  1. Moorlock, Greg, Jonathan Ives, and Heather Draper. "Altruism in organ donation: an unnecessary requirement?." Journal of medical ethics 40.2 (2014): 134-138.
  2. Moorlock, Greg, et al. "Should We Reject Donated Organs on Moral Grounds or Permit Allocation Using Non‐Medical Criteria?: A Qualitative Study." Bioethics 30.4 (2016): 282-292.
  3. Moorlock, Greg. “An empirically informed ethical analysis of directed and conditional deceased organ donation”, PhD thesis here
Further Information

This project was funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Studentship, in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charities. Each year the AHRC provides funding from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities. Only applications of the highest quality are funded and the range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/

For more information about this research, please feel free to contact us:

Heather Draper – H dot Draper at warwick dot ac dot uk +44 (0)2476 150347
Greg Moorlock – g dot moorlock at warwick dot ac dot uk +44 (0)2476 151592