Monday, May 6, 2013

Rav Bakshi-Doron: Required to get transplant from person with AIDS if no alternative

For full story see Srugim


  1. It's an interesting question and answer in the theoretical, and honestly all things considered his reasoning seems fairly sound.

    The only thing is, what hospital anywhere in the world harvests organs from an HIV infected donor?

    Also what he seems to miss is the dangers to the doctors. Are they thus required to put themselves in danger in order to save this person's life?

    1. The person with AIDS might be a family member. Besides by widening the criteria of potential donors, more lives can be saved. Also medical personel deal with AIDS patients all the time. They wear gloves while operating any ways. I do not see the danger.

    2. As far as I know, and from what I have been able to find online, harvesting organs for transplant for facilitating a transplant from an HIV positive donor is a criminal offense in the US and many European nations.

  2. There are several points which justify this Psak.

    a) the donor organ may not necessarily be infected with HIV, or it might be "cleaned"

    b) The recipient can be given anti-retroviral drugs to reduce the risk of contracting AIDS.

    c) If the recipient is going to dies imminently without the organ, then the worst case scenario of having HIV/AIDS is no longer the death sentence it was - he may live another 30 years, with current therapy, and in any case a clinical cure to HIV is just around corner.

  3. I do not see the halachik question here. If the patient would die without it give him/her the organ. Worst case scenario the recipient would G-d forbid get AIDS which today is a manageable illness. This is more of an inquiry for medical specialists than poskim. I am confused here. Can somebody explain to me why this sheila has any weight to it?


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