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Kidney Transplant Denial: Ethics or Face Saving Tactic

A Toronto woman is being denied a kidney transplant from a healthy (physically and psychologically), and more importantly, willing Australian man. After weeks of tests to confirm his compatibility, as well as meeting with forensic psychologists to ensure he isn't being coerced or monetarily motivated, Ashwyn Falkingham has returned home with both his kidneys intact and in their usual place. Sandi Sabloff, suffering from chronic kidney failure, is left asking why.

Apparently, the hospital handling the case originally approved Falkingham, but after receiving a call from the man's mother and step-father, Toronto General informed him the donation will not proceed. There are many questions being asked: Does Falkingham's involvement with a religious sect (the Jesus Christians, who use organ donation as proof of their ultimate devotion to Jesus' teachings) mean he's been brain washed? Does the fact that Sabloff found the donor online make the partnership invalid? A live organ transplant is more risky than receiving an organ from someone deceased (but is supported by the Kidney Foundation of Canada); is that why the procedure has been cancelled?

I can't help but think I'm missing some facts. That's possibly even the case, either through my own fault, or because we're not being told the whole story. I'm not sure what kind of confidentiality agreement there is between donors, recipients, hospitals, etc. My opinion is this: If a grown man has decided to donate an organ (whatever his motivation, as long as it's his own choice), why shouldn't he be allowed to do it? I wonder if the hospital chose not to be affiliated with the Jesus Christians? And if that's the case, is it ethical to deny a transplant in order to prevent the risk of religious retaliation?


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