Who controls the uses of organs after death?: law in the books, law in practice and the view of the people
The conventional wisdom is that we are free to dispose of our organs at death and that they will be employed according to our wishes. However, this reflects neither the formal law nor medical practice. This article explores the theory underlying the principle of self-determination after death. It presents an overview of Australian law and the way that the law is interpreted in clinical practice. It then presents the results of a community survey on organ disposition, and identifies a gap between community expectations and the current operation of Australian law. It concludes with some specific recommendations for development of the law to align it more closely with contemporary community views.