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Dr. Steven Jensen Edits Book on Organ Transplantation Ethics
9/6/2011
The Catholic University of America Press has published a book edited by Dr. Steven J. Jensen, The Ethics of Organ Transplantation. Jensen is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. The book will be available in September 2011.

An ever-increasing demand for organs, with more than 100,000 people on waiting lists, has driven a relentless search for new sources of organs. In 1995, the American Medical Association supported taking organs from anencephalic infants, children born without brains. In 1999, the Chinese government began removing organs from members of the politically outcast religious group Falun Gong, making a lucrative profit from sales to foreigners. Recently in Belgium physicians have euthanized a patient by removing her organs.

The taking of organs raises ethical concerns. Is brain death truly death or by taking the heart of the brain-dead individual do we thereby kill him? When a person’s heart stops beating is it permissible to prepare his organs for transplantation, even though we could choose to resuscitate him? Can we take organs from an infant without a brain? If a woman no longer wishes to live, can she donate her organs to others in an act of beneficent suicide? Is a market in organs acceptable?

Jensen’s book is a compilation of essays and articles from theologians, philosophers, physicians, biomedical experts and an attorney exploring these questions. Contributors include Romanus Cessario, O.P., Thomas I. Cochrane, Thomas L. Cook, Jason T. Eberl, A. A. Howsepian, Robert E. Hurley, Thomas Hurley, Steven J. Jensen, Christpher Kaczor, Witold Kania, David Matas, D. Alan Shewmon, Janet E. Smith and Leslie M. Whetstine. 

After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame, Jensen continued his studies in ethics with applications to medical ethics. He is the author of Good and Evil Actions: a Journey Through St. Thomas Aquinas (The Catholic University of America Press, 2010) and several articles concerning St. Thomas Aquinas’ ethics, action theory and theory of knowledge.

He has been at the University of St. Thomas since 2007. Jensen lives in Katy, Texas, with his wife and three children. 

The book may be purchased online.

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