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April 19, 1995

Mandated Choice for Organ Donation

Author Affiliations

Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1995;273(15):1176-1177. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520390034024

To the Editor.  —In their Editorial1 about two reports2,3 on organ procurement by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, Drs Murray and Youngner misjudge the reports on several counts. One report endorses mandated choice,2 the other endorses limited financial incentives for procurement after death.3Murray and Youngner1 seem troubled by what they perceive as an undue emphasis on individual autonomy and an insufficient recognition of family interests. The Council takes the prevailing view that individuals have the right to decide what happens to their organs after they die. Society shows its respect for the essential worth of each person by permitting individuals to control their bodies even after death. Whatever the family's interests, it is clear that people have strong feelings about what happens to them after they die. It would be ironic if individuals had less control over the disposition of their bodies

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