Family Priority and Consent in Organ Donation: An Argument Based on the Confucian Idea of Sincerity
Keywords:器官捐獻, 鄉願, 誠, 仁, 儒家倫理
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone who needs a transplant to survive. Yet with limited organs available, the following question arises. Who should be given priority in terms of donation procedures—the individual who has personally committed to offer his/her organs to anyone in need, or the legal next of kin, i.e., family members? This essay approaches this question with reference to the Confucian ethics of sincerity (cheng), which is viewed as a precondition for the ethics of humanness (ren), arguing that family members should be given priority in decisions on organ donation. The author recommends that a policy of family consent for organ donation be implemented, as such a policy would reflect the significant role that family should play in making decisions on critical issues such as organ donation. The essay concludes that rather than emphasizing the right of individuals to decide what will happen after they die, a policy of family involvement would encourage more people to become donors and avoid conflict in cases of disagreement between donors and family members.
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