Organ Procurement and Transplantation

This list of topical resources is collated and maintained by the Bioethics Research Library of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, as part of a growing collection intended to help beginning scholars and researchers explore bioethics.


The steady growth of organ transplantation since the mid-1980s continues to spark intense debate about the procurement and the allocation of human organs. Each year the waiting list for transplants increases dramatically while the number of donated organs remains well below what is needed.

The ethical issues with organ transplantation are well covered in books, audiovisual materials, and the legal literature. Case studies provide personalized accounts of the ethical issues involved.

The developments of a legal market for tissues in the United States and a black market for organs around the world have raised the question of whether donation without compensation is the only ethically viable option. Current suggestions for incentives cover a wide range of possibilities.

Selected Resources

Organizations devoted to transplantation issues: