The case of Jamie Fiske and subsequent public appeals for particular children by President Ronald Reagan represent classic cases in pediatric bioethics in which parents or others publicly appealed for a donor organ for a particular child. These raise questions about the appropriate boundaries for public appeals for a limited resource for a particular child and how the press and medical community should respond to such appeals. Public appeals by parents to advocate for their child to receive a limited resource above others promote rationing by morally irrelevant factors and shift the public focus from the national shortage of organs for transplant to the needs of a particular child. Yet these appeals are understandable and will likely continue. Recognizing this, we consider appropriate responses by the media, transplant community, hospitals, and individual clinicians.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health