Lectures & Events

What Is and Is Not Ethical in Trying to Increase the Supply of Organs for Transplant
Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Scholar-in-Residence Lecture, presented by The Law-Medicine Center
NOV 4, 2008
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom

Professor Caplan will review proposals to increase the supply of organs available for transplant in the U.S. He will also discuss shifts in policy that would permit markets or "default to donation."

Other proposals he will examine include: donor ambulances, using more marginal donors and organs, relying more on living donors, increasing the use of donation after cardiac death, and other ideas. According to Professor Caplan, all of these ideas raise legal and regulatory concerns, some of which may prove to be serious impediments to their implementation.

The lecture will clarify the definition of death and brain death; policies at the Federal level governing organ procurement; how people might be encouraged to be organ and tissue donors; and what sorts of liability exist when a transplant is the source of a communicable disease.
Speaker Information
Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D.Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D.
Emmanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics
Chair, Department of Medical Ethics; Director, Center for Bioethics
University of Pennsylvania

Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Arthur Caplan taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He was Associate Director of the Hastings Center from 1984-1987. Born in Boston, Prof. Caplan did his undergraduate work at Brandeis University, and his graduate work at Columbia University, where he received a Ph.D in the history and philosophy of science in 1979.

Prof. Caplan is the author or editor of twenty-nine books and over 500 papers in refereed journals of medicine, science, philosophy, bioethics and health policy. His most recent book is Smart Mice Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006).

He has served on a number of national and international committees including as Chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group, Chair of the Advisory Committee to the U.N. on Human Cloning, Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses, the special advisory committee to the International Olympic Committee on genetics and gene therapy, the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy, and the special advisory panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects. He has consulted with many corporations, not for profit organizations and consumer organizations.

Prof. Caplan is a member of the board of directors of The Keystone Center, Tengion, the National Center for Policy Research on Women and Families, Octagon, Iron Disorders Foundation and the National Disease Research Interchange. He chairs the advisory committee on bioethics at Glaxo and is on the board of visitors of the Columbia University School of Nursing. He is Co-Director of the Joint Council of Europe/U.N. Study on Trafficking in Organs and Body Parts. Prof. Caplan writes a regular column on bioethics for MSNBC.com. and is a frequent guest and commentator on various media outlets.

Recipient of many awards and honors, including the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association and the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia, he was a person of the Year-2001 from USA Today, one of the fifty most influential people in American health care by Modern Health Care magazine, one of the ten most influential people in America in biotechnology by the National Journal and one of the ten most influential people in the ethics of biotechnology by the editors of Nature Biotechnology. He holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, the NY Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Additional Information
Open to the public at no cost. There will be one free hour of CLE credit available to lawyers who attend.

Supplemental Readings:
· Caplan Bibliography
· Caring for Organs or for Patients?
· The Case Against Organ Sales

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