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Stepping on "Various Traditional Social Taboos"

"The greatest fear the public has when it comes to organ donation is their loved one will not receive aggressive treatment and will wind up having their death hastened because of the zeal people have to get organs," said Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. "You create a tremendous fear on the part of the public whenever any crossing of that line takes place."
Washington Post, September 13, 2007

The headline on the front page story in today's Washington Post is "New Zeal in Organ Procurement Raises Fears." The 1,697-word-long story, written by Rob Stein, raises the profoundly disturbing possibility that ever-more aggressive teams searching for organs are cutting a number of ethical corners.

Stein's account is very evenhanded. "Even the critics agree that most organ-donation advocates are acutely sensitive to ethical concerns, help save many lives and enable families to find solace in their losses," he writes. "But they worry that disturbing lapses may be increasingly common."

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