Religious Studies | Religion, Ethics, & Medicine
R373 | 3599 | Girod


R373 Religion, Ethics & Medicine (3 Cr.) MW 2:30-3:45 BH 242 (Girod)

Organ transplantation has become an accepted practice in American society.
In the early days of transplantation, the idea that one individual could
consent to give his or her organs to another individual and perhaps
lengthen that person's life was considered a miraculous prospect, which
was nevertheless fraught with disturbing and complicated physiological,
psychological and ethical dimensions.  Perceptions of transplantation have
changed tremendously in the last two decades, and it is now widely
considered a curative procedure to which everyone has a right.  We will
examine carefully current assumptions about transplantation, and the
varieties of philosophical and religious support for the practice.  We
will also look at particular issues of organ procurement and allocation in
transplantation, asking, for example, if parents should donate parts of
their livers or lungs to a dying child, or if smokers should receive lung
transplants.  In addition, the practice of transplantation will give us an
opportunity to examine more general ethical issues associated with
informed consent, medical research, and the just allocation of national
resources.