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Problems and Alternatives of the Decision-Making for Organ Donation in Korea

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2017, 20(2), pp.176-192
  • DOI : 10.35301/ksme.2017.20.2.176
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : May 15, 2017
  • Accepted : June 5, 2017
  • Published : June 30, 2017

Song, Yoonjin 1

1서울대학교 법학연구소 박사후연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines the issue of decision-making for organ donation, a necessary precondition of organ transplantation, from the perspective of the donor. As the organ donation rate in Korea is significantly lower than that of other countries, the causes for this phenomenon are reviewed. The decision-making in relation to organ donation and transplantation in Korea seems to be a closed family-centered decision type. The organ transplant system also consolidates this conventional family-centered decision-making model, contrary to the basic principles and intentions of the original organ transplantation law, which respects donor’s voluntary intentions. The organ transplant system in Korea should respect the donor’s will and ensure that the voluntary and noble sacrifices that donors make extend beyond the fence of the family to the society as a whole. This article argues that rather than strictly regulating the donor’s decision-making process, a cooperative decision-making system should be established, one that provides substantial support to the donor. Such a strategy should help to raise the voluntary donation rate by increasing levels of public trust in a healthy medical culture.

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