Regulating transplant surgery: an analysis of the role of law in the management of human organ transplants
This thesis is designed to analyse the role that law can play in regulating the practice of transplant surgery with a view to proposing clear guidelines for collaborative and precise ;decision-making in this area. We argue that with legislated self-regulation, which has binding authority, as opposed to societal self-regulation, technological advances in transplant surgery will not get out of control and be abused. In chapter one, we have.given an overview ofthe current technological advances related to transplant~ry.and their impact on the society. We have identified problems assod ﾕﾕﾕﾕﾕﾕﾕﾕ !Y$1ices and the various aspects that oughtto be regulated. 1he regulatory framework of the medical profession is discussed in chapter two. A brief exposition of the importance and relevance of law vis a vis the medical profession's framework is given in this chapter. We conclude that the medical profession's framework alone is not sufficient to effectively regulate advances in transplant surgery. In chapter three, the regulatory mechanisms at the international, regional and national levels are examined. We establish that the ultimate aim of the international regime is to ensure that law, either through policy making or enactment of Statutes plays a vital role in regulating transplant surgery. The fact that this regime depends on the cooperation of member states to legislate at the national level.is clearly illustrated in this chapter. In chapter four we discuss the issue of necessity of procuring the donor's formal consent. We argue that obtaining formal consent will encourage voluntary altruistic donation of organs. The need for clear criteria for the definition of death and guidelines for its certification are discussed in chapter five. We conclude in this chapter that clear guidelines on this issue can make it easy to preserve, contract and utilise organs. In chapter six, the issue of commercialisation of human organs and its impact on the right to life is addressed. We resolve that commercial trade in human organs is immoral, repugnant and fundamentally inhuman. The concluding remarks are made in chapter seven where we conclude that Law is capable of providing clear guidelines for collaborative and precise decision-making with regard to moral, religious and ethical issues related to transplant surgery. In this regard, we have proposed a Bill that provides clear guidelines.
University of Nairobi, Kenya