Should everyone be expected to donate suitable organs after death?

YES: There are many compelling moral, ethical and pragmatic reasons to expect the donation of organs after death.

  1. The shortage of live organ donors in countries and hospitals worldwide consign many patients to either painful or prematurely shortened lifespans, making mandatory organ donations from those who have passed away a pragmatic solution to the problem.

  2. The donation of suitable organs after death may be a final gift that individuals bestow on humanity in furthering scientific and medical progress, making the action a morally compelling case for all who may want to fulfill their obligations to humanity in a complete manner.

  3. Some societies may have legal frameworks and legislation in place to encourage the donation of organs after death for all citizens through the signing of a prior agreement, thereby giving citizens the opportunity to consciously serve their community even in death.

  4. The mandatory donation of organs after death will address law, order and security challenges which may otherwise arise from the shortage of organs, making the proposal a practical one for the international community to consider and adopt.

NO: The donation of organs after death should not be universally applied as doing so may lead to unmanageable moral, ethical and pragmatic implications for society. 

  1. The pain and trauma of prematurely shortened lifespans for both patients and their families may be understandable but enforcing the donation of organs from dead donors may be untimely and sharpen the grief of these donors’ families which have not yet come to terms with their loved ones’ passing.

  2. As science advances, suitable alternatives to authentic organs may be found, making the donation of organs after death a matter of personal choice rather than moral compunction enforced by society or one’s sense of obligation.

  3. The donation of suitable organs to be used in scientific and medical research may be valid but is fraught with practical issues concerning potential misuse or controversy, making the case less feasible for everyone unless such challenges are adequately addressed by society.

  4. Strong sentiments arising from religious, cultural and personal beliefs that oppose the donation of organs after death may prevent some societies from implementing the practice and enforcing it on all citizens.