The Paradigm of Living Related Donation: Stretched, Strained, and Abused?
The paradigm of the family as the basic unit of society has been facing challenges, perhaps the most prominent of which have come in areas of biotechnology and health care. Those challenges are requiring flexibility in defining the boundaries that define membership of a family. The frontiers of interdependence, reciprocity and responsibility are having to be adjusted and responsibility for health concerns is extending way beyond genetic family borders. This is an empirical development that will continue to prevail whether we recognize it or not. As social beings, human beings have engaged in close social relationships that transcend blood ties. It would be wrong to continue to predicate organ transplant policies solely on genetic relationships. While there is a need to be wary of commercially motivated claims to kinships the concern must be tempered by openness to emerging types of human bonds and to emerging conceptions of the family.
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