Social Aspects of Heart Transplants

4 April 2015
An introduction to the history of heart transplants and a study of the social issues surrounding them today.

Heart transplants have become a modern medical practice today thanks to improved techniques and drugs to suppress the immune system so that the body will not reject the new heart. This may seem like a medical miracle, but there are those who disagree. The advent of heart transplants has given rise to several social issues and the paper discusses several of them such as psychological issues, issues with consent from the donor family, prioritizing of patients according to social status, an organ “black market”, and cloning.
“Organ transplants and other new techniques being researched will someday improve the lives of those for which time has run out. This new technology is a blessing for the patients who receive it, but is also a source of social and moral dilemma. Each technique has its own associated problems and the solutions are currently few. There are some issues which society may never resolve such as the religious issues involving heart donation or stem cell research. There are many issues involved with heart transplants. We also may never know if the stories are actually true about black market organs and corrupt doctors. It is doubtful that any of these people will actually confess. Heart transplants bring bring the promise of new life, but they also bring the promise of many more years of social debate. ”
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