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This research paper discusses some of these ethical challenges in light of the social, cultural, and spiritual issues that deceased and living organ donation raises in different contexts around the globe.Nowadays we tend to take for granted that organ donation can save and enhance lives.
These statistics reﬂect improvements in road safety, such as wearing seat belts, improved car design, better road layouts, the greater use of motorcycle helmets, speed control and reduced speed limits, as well as advances in intensive care practice which have prevented patients with traumatized brains from becoming brain dead.
Meanwhile, the demand for human organs is increasing due to the expectation in developed countries of continued quality of life, even in advancing years.
Many western countries accept the legal and medical criteria for the posthumous procurement of organs based on brain death, but the clinical deﬁnition of brain death as a diagnostic category used in medical practice to determine “a moment of death” is not accepted everywhere.
Some cultures subscribe to the traditional deﬁnition of death as the irreversible cessation of cardiorespiratory functions.
Although national surveys and opinion polls demonstrate support for organ transplantation and a willingness to donate, this does not always translate to actual donation.
Some countries have legislated “opt out” or presumed consent policies to increase donation rates, with some success (e.g., Belgium, France, and Spain).
Presumed consent operates on the basis that all eligible persons are organ donors at the time of their death unless they have speciﬁcally indicated their explicit objection.
“Opt in” systems, by contrast, are based on expressed voluntarism and require consent from the potential donor or their next of kin.
The reasons for the organ shortfall are multifactorial.
First, the percentage of people in the western world who die in circumstances where they could be deceased organ donors is only 1.2–3 % of all deaths.