Organ Donation & Transplantation


Since the first successful organ transplant in 1954, the transplantation of organs and tissues has enabled thousands of individuals increased longevity by replacing diseased or damaged organs and tissues. The great need for organ transplants (with demand far exceeding available organs for the over 100,000 on the U.S. national transplant waiting list) has introduced issues surrounding the allocation of organs, and the meeting of this great need through issues of consent, dead donor determination, for-profit models of organ transplantation, organ trafficking & medical tourism, synthetic & artificial organs, xenotransplantation, the possibility of bioengineered and/or 3D printed organs, and even the potential for fetal organ farming.


  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • Edward Grant, “Organ Donation and Transplantation: Can Law Resolve the Dilemma of Scarcity?”
  • Michael Shafer and Paige Comstock Cunningham, “Medical Exploitation and Black Market Organs: Profiteering and Disparities in Global Medicine.”
  • Michael Sleasman and Paige Comstock Cunningham, “Exploitation in the Global Medical Enterprise: Bioethics & Social Injustice.”
  • Ferdinand Yates, “Donor after Cardiac Death: What Is the Christian’s Response?”
  • Gregory Rutecki, “Sharing Scarce Organs with Others: Designating Donation as a Model of Giving.”


Organ Donation and Transplantation (General)

  • Caplan, Arthur L. and Daniel H. Coelho, eds. The Ethics of Organ Transplants: The Current Debate. New York: Prometheus Books, 1998.
  • Committee on Increasing Rates of Organ Donation. Organ Donation: Opportunity for Action. Edited by James F. Childress and Catharyn T. Liverman. Washington DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
  • DeLong, William R., ed. Organ Transplantation in Religious, Ethical and Social Context. Binghamton, NY: The Hawthorne Press, 1993.
  • Gruessner, Rainer and Enrico Benedetti. Living Donor Organ Transplantation. New York: McGraw Hill Professional, 2008.
  • Haerens, Margaret. Organ Donation. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2012.
  • Hamilton, David. A History of Organ Transplantation: Ancient Legends to Modern Practice. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.
  • Henderson, D. Scott. Death and Donation: Rethinking Brain Death as a Means for Procuring Transplantable Organs. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011.
  • Jensen, Steven, ed. The Ethics of Organ Transplantation. Catholic University of America Press, 2011.
  • Lock, Margaret. Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death. University of California Press, 2002.
  • Miller, Franklin, and Robert Truog. Death, Dying, and Organ Transplantation: Reconstructing Medical Ethics at the End of Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Munson, Ronald. Raising the Dead: Organ Transplants, Ethics, and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Petechuk, David. Organ Transplantation. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.
  • Richards, Janet Radcliffe. The Ethics of Transplants: Why Careless Thought Costs Lives. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Sharp, Lesley A. Strange Harvest: Organ Transplants, Denatured, and the Transformed Self. Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Shelton, Wayne N. and John Balint, eds. The Ethics of Organ Transplantation. Advances in Bioethics Vol. 7. West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Group, 2001.
  • Talbot, David and Anthony M. D’Alessandro, eds. Organ Donation and Transplantation After Cardiac Death. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Tilney, Nicholas L. Transplant: From Myth to Reality.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.
  • Trzepacz, Paula T. and Andrea F. DiMartini, eds. The Transplant Patient: Biological, Psychiatric, and Ethical Issues in Organ Transplantation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Veatch, Robert M. Transplantation Ethics. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2000.

Out of Print

  • Younger, Stuart J., Renee C. Fox, and Laurence J. O’Connell, eds. Organ Transplantation: Meanings and Realities. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.

Commodification or Trafficking Organs

  • Ben-David, Orit Brawer. Organ Donation and Transplantation: Body Organs as an Exchangeable Socio-Cultural Resource. Westport CT: Praeger, 2005.
  • Carney, Scott. The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers. William Morrow, 2011.
  • Cheney, Annie. Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains. Broadway Books, 2006.
  • Cherry, Mark J. Kidney for Sale by Owner: Human Organs, Transplantation, and the Market. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005.
  • Decker, Oliver. Commodified Bodies: Organ Transplantation and the Organ Trade. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Goodwin, Michele. Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Healey, Kieran. Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006.
  • Lundin, Susanne. Organs for Sale: An Ethnographic Examination of the International Organ Trade. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • Marie-Andree, Jacob. Matching Organs with Donors: Legality and Kinship in Transplants. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
  • Taylor, James Stacy. Stakes and Kidneys: Why Markets in Human Body Parts are Morally Imperative.Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2005.
  • Territo, Leonard and Rande Matteson, eds. The International Trafficking of Human Organs: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 2012.
  • Wilkinson, Stephen. Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade. New York: Routledge: 2003.
  • Wilkinson, T. M. Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Out of Print

  • Andrews, Lori, and Dorothy Nelkin. Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age. New York: Crown, 2001.


  • Anderson, Martha W., Renie Schapiro, and Stuart J. Youngner, eds. Transplantation Human Tissue: Ethics, Policy and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Beard, T. Randolph, David Kaserman, and Rigmar Osterkamp. The Global Organ Shortage: Economic Causes, Human Consequences, Policy Responses. Stanford University Press, 2013.
  • Hamdy, Sherine. Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt. University of California Press, 2012.
  • Price, David. Human Tissue in Transplantation and Research: A Model Legal and Ethical Donation Framework. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Price, David P. T. Legal and Ethical Aspects of Organ Transplantation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Weimer, David Leo. Medical Governance: Values, Expertise, and Interests in Organ Transplantation. American Governance and Public Policy Series. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2010.

Out of Print

  • Arnold, Robert M. Procuring Organs for Transplant: The Debate Over Non-Heart-Beating Cadaver Protocols. Baltimore, MD, 1995.


  • Committee on Xenograft Transplantation, Institute of Medicine. Xenotransplantation: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 1996.
  • Cooper, David K.C. and Robert P. Lanza, Xeno: The Promise of Transplanting Animal Organs into Humans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Costa, Cristina and Rafael Máñez, eds. Xenotransplantation: Methods and Protocols. New York: Humana Press, 2012.
  • Fovarque, Sara. Xenotransplantation and Risk: Regulating a Developing Biotechnology (Cambridge, Law, Medicine and Ethics). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Sharp, Lesley A. The Transplant Imaginary: Mechanical Hearts, Animal Parts, and Moral Thinking in Highly Experimental Science. University of California Press, 2014.

Out of Print

  • Bryan, Jenny, and John Clare. Organ Farm: Pig to Human Transplants—Medical Miracle or Genetic Time Bomb? London: Carlton, 2001.
  • McLean, Sheila and Laura Williamson. Xenotransplantation: Law and Ethics. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005.

For additional related material see the End of Life, Clinical & Medical Ethics, and Human Dignity Bibliographies.

Position Statement