Title
Using mentally incompetent adults as living organ donors : widely diverging regulations in Europe Using mentally incompetent adults as living organ donors : widely diverging regulations in Europe
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Law
Publication type
article
Publication
Dordrecht ,
Subject
Law
Source (journal)
European journal of health law. - Dordrecht, 1994, currens
Volume/pages
19(2012) :5 , p. 441-466
ISSN
0929-0273
1571-8093
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
With the current situation in Belgium as its initial focus, this article will examine the regulatory framework that governs the use of mentally incompetent adults as living organ donors in Europe. Our survey of the national regulation of 22 countries will reveal widely diverging viewpoints, ranging from an absolute prohibition on organ procurement to a barely restricted authorisation to retrieve even non-regenerable organs. We also have a look at the way in which American and English court decisions have applied the best interests standard in an attempt to define the contours of acceptable organ removal from mentally incompetent donors. Taking the best interests of the mentally incompetent person as a yardstick, we suggest that legally prohibiting organ removal from mentally incompetents may be problematic, even if it concerns only non-regenerable organs, and that regulations should be refined accordingly.