Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Death, Dying, and Organ TransplantationReconstructing Medical Ethics at the End of Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Franklin G. Miller and Robert D. Truog

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739172.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Legal Fictions Approach to Organ Donation, with Seema K. Shah

Legal Fictions Approach to Organ Donation, with Seema K. Shah

7 Legal Fictions Approach to Organ Donation, with Seema K. Shah
Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation

Franklin G. Miller

Robert D. Truog

Oxford University Press

Abandoning the dead donor rule faces practical difficulties, especially as it would require changing current formulation of laws relating to homicide. In this chapter we offer a pragmatic alternative account of vital organ donation that invokes the concept of legal fictions. Current practices of vital organ donation are characterized as based on unacknowledged legal fictions. We advocate making these legal fictions transparent by acknowledging that legal determinations of death in the context of organ donation do not coincide with a biological definition of death. Although vital organs are justifiably being procured from still-living patients, the appeal to legal fictions permits maintaining the dead donor rule as a legal norm. The movement from unacknowledged to transparent legal fictions can be a step on the way to honest public policy that reflects the reality of vital organ donation.

Keywords:   legal fictions, status fictions, anticipatory fictions, transparency

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .