The organisation of fairness: engineering organ allocation protocols in the United Kingdom

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    In the United Kingdom, as elsewhere, the scarcity of organs for transplantation produces serious organisational problems. How is it possible to guarantee fairness in determining who receives a transplant, and who does not? How do medical practitioners and administrators distinguish between various moral claims on an organ, and are they equipped to do so?

    In the United Kingdom allocation procedures are undergoing a period of review.
    In 2006 algorithmic protocols of allocation for kidney transplantation were established by a panel of specialists, and similar protocols are being investigated for pancreatic and liver transplantation, where currently decisions may be made at a local level on the basis of the judgement of surgeon and physician.

    This paper reports on an on-going empirical project, documenting the organisational processes at work and the outcomes achieved. It reviews these protocols and the discussions that lead to their implementation. The paper highlights key themes that emerged in a preliminary analysis of the data, and suggests a number of possible research questions and associated theoretical frameworks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventThe Moral Economy of Life Science - Vadstena, Sweden
    Duration: 13 Apr 201115 Apr 2011


    ConferenceThe Moral Economy of Life Science


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