Commentary

Organ donor families should be free to meet their recipients under controlled conditions if both sides wish, Italian National Committee for Bioethics says


Abstract


n 27 September 2018 the Italian Committee for Bioethics (ICB) adopted an opinion regarding the possibility of an exception to the anonymity obligation when both parties agree and have signed an appropriate informed consent form. According to the IBC any contact between the donor’s family and recipient must be managed by a third-party body pertaining to the National Health Service, established to guarantee strict control over the expression of consent in order to avoid any risk of inappropriate behaviour. The paper traces how Reg  and Maggie Green, on holiday from California, donated the organs of their seven-year old son, Nicholas, to seven Italians after he had been shot in a carjacking on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria autostrada in 1994. Reluctant as a foreigner to propose a change in Italian law that effectively prevents the two sides from contacting each other, Reg Green held back for 22 years until, at age 87, he began a public campaign to voice his concern that the law was hurting transplant families rather than helping them.


Keywords


Ethics; Healthcare legislation; Organ donation; Organ transplantation

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