Code of Ethics: The Living Legacy of Maryland The box on our driver’s license form asking if you want to be an organ donor is the same box that is on many hospital’s admission forms. Many people do not think much about what the answer to this question could mean for people in need of a second chance at life. The Living Legacy Foundation with its commitment to excellence and promotion of support of families as well as public and professional education concerning transplantation and research has made a point to bring this issue to the forefront.
The foundation’s ethical principles and values, its culture and ethical decision-making, and social responsibility to the public will reveal its commitment to its mission, vision, and goals. The Organization’s Goals, Ethical Principles, and Values The Living Legacy of Maryland is an organization that helps facilitate organ donation and transplantation in Maryland. The main organizational goals are to carry out the wishes of each individual and his or her family struck by tragedy or facing death while saving lives. The foundation educates and supports families of organ donors.
The organizational goals of The Living Legacy help address several ethical principles. Organ donation and transplantation saves lives. Religious, cultural, and ethical principles play a part. Ethically many people are unsure if their family member will be treated the same if he or she comes into the hospital injured or ill already a registered organ donor. The Living Legacy explains to families that the team caring for their loved one is doing all that they can to save his or her life and if he or she is declared brain dead a different medical team, the transplant team, takes over with care (The Living Legacy Foundation, n. . ). The Living Legacy of Maryland has solid ethical values as a corporation dealing with death, tragedy, and saving lives. Beneficence is one ethical principle that goes hand-in-hand with organ donation. The ethical principles of beneficence are to treat the greatest amount of people with the greatest amount of good and do not harm or kill intentionally. According to Ascension Health (2011), beneficence is to, “Appreciate the complexity of life and make sound judgments for the good of oneself, others, and the common good (Principle of Beneficence, para. ). Two groups composed of individuals from the medical community, donor, and recipient families, and Maryland residents direct and guide the Living Legacy Foundation closely. One of the groups advises and one governs the foundation addressing issues, concerns, trends, and needs. Ethical values and concerns are frequent concerning organ donation. The Living Legacy of Maryland holds Marylanders hands when one life has ended. Because of one donor, many lives have new beginnings. Organization’s Culture and Ethical Decision-making
Their mission statement- The Living Legacy Foundation will be a leading advocate, educator, and provider of organ and tissue donation services for transplantation and research best defines the organizational culture of the Living Legacy Foundation. The organization and the individuals who work or volunteer their time there all embrace the belief that organ donation saves lives. According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, a single individual donating organ can save up to eight lives (“Why Donate,” 2011). Although the act of donating an organ saves lives, organ donation is not widely understood or even accepted.
The benefits of organ donation can be spread through advertising and education however, this can create ethical issues. One such issue is avoiding coercion when recruiting people to sign up as organ donors. The organization’s culture of giving and strong belief in helping others aided them in solving this ethical issue. Learning about, understanding, and promoting informed consent help the organization spread the word about donations in an ethical manner. Informed consent in organ donation is a process. This process must include communication about the entire procedure, its risks and benefits, and any alternatives to the process.
Informed consent must also allow for time to discuss the decision with family members, loved-ones, and physicians or other health care providers if desired (Diethelm, 1990). The decision to use informed consent was largely influenced by the organization’s culture. The information provided online by the Living Legacy Foundation concerning religious beliefs and donation was also affected by ethical concerns and the organization’s culture. In the spirit of acceptance and support for all human beings care was taken when presenting the information to respect all beliefs while remaining within the law and the vision of the organization.
Importance of Organization’s Ethical Values and Individual Ethical Values By understanding the organization values, principles, and belief Marylanders will be educated on how to make an informed decision. According to National Defense University (n. d. ),”Values are what we, as a profession, judge to be right. Individually or organizationally, values determine what is right and what is wrong, and doing what is right or wrong is what we mean by ethics” (Values and Ethics, para. 8). The Maryland Living Legacy Foundation believes that it is important to look at the whole person as both the donor and the recipient.
The organizational ethical values should and does support our ethical values because the organization does not only take in consider the individual but also looks at what his or her cultural and religious beliefs are. The foundation helps support our decisions through education, counseling, and does not just look at the financial piece. The organization structure is essential to help Marylanders understand and relate to how the organization treats the patient who is at the end of life or the patient who is receiving the donor organ along with his or her family.
The Maryland Legacy Foundation is an organization that supports the needs of donor’s organs and value their customers both the donor and the recipient (The Living Legacy Foundation, n. d. ). Social Responsibility Social responsibility is a method of return investment, which causes an organization to aim at improving the well-being of the society it services in which it is indebted to (Maina, 2010). The Living Legacy Foundation has a social responsibility to the community by educating Maryland on the life saving process of tissue and organ donation.
The foundation utilizes members of society to educate the importance of its purpose of saving lives through donor recipients, family members, educators, and ministers. Community Partners are key components in getting the word out to the public. Churches are an avenue to gather a large audience to educate them on the importance of giving; what better gift is there than life. Members of the foundation come into churches to explain the program and allow a question and answer session to help dismiss any myths and open one’s eyes to the spiritual and natural impact that organ and tissue donations can have on one’s life.
Science teachers help bring the scientific aspect and approach to transplantation. A science teacher in Baltimore from the Polytechnic Institute invited the Living Legacy Foundation to speak with her young students on the process and need for tissue and organ donation. The success of her efforts was so great that the school administrators decided to educate the entire student body. The foundation works closely with funeral homes and medical examiners to respect and honor the wishes of the donor and families as they give the gift of life during a difficult time.
It also offers funeral homes educational programs, resource materials, and a donor acknowledgement program so that they have better information for families. One misconception is that a normal or an open-casket funeral is not possible if a person is a donor. The foundation has many supporters that consist of volunteers like the Motor Vehicle Administration, Legacy of Love Quilt Project, and the Donate Life Family Fun Run, just to name a few. There is not a better person to promote and educate others on what a difference a transplant can make than a recipient. Many state that it gives them a second chance at life.
Not many people have the opportunity to get a second chance at life. Just think about how one person can make such a difference in so many people’s lives by being an organ donor. Conclusion As we struggle with major life decisions both in our personal and professional lives, we never think that there may be a time in our lives that we would have to make a life or death decision related to our health or one of our loved ones. The decision is not an easy decision. The importance is to have an understanding of the Living Legacy Foundation organization’s goals, ethical principles, and values to make an informed decision.
The Living Legacy Foundation’s culture and ethical decision-making helps by being a leading advocate, educator, and providing their clients with support. An organization’s ethical values should mirror the individual’s ethical values. The relationship between the two parties could have difficulties working together if both the organization and the client have different ethical values. The social responsibility of the organization, which provides education to the community, churches, and schools system to help society understand the importance of what the Living Legacy Foundation does in saving lives.
The Living Legacy Foundation is one organization that supports sustaining lives by the means of procuring donor organs. References Ascension Health. (n. d. ). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from Key Ethical Principles: http://www. ascensionhealth. org/index. php? option=com_content&view=article&id=78:principle-of-beneficence&Itemid=171 Diethelm, Arnold. G. , (May 1990). Ethical decisions in the history of organ donation. In Presidential Address (vol. 211, no. 5, pg. 509). Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1358215/pdf/annsurg00171-0009. pdf Maina, M. (2010).
What are the social responsibilities of business? Helium. Retrieved from http://www. helium. com/items/1820093-ways-that-businesses-can-be-responsible-to-the-society National Defense University (n. d. ). Strategic leadership and decision-making. Retrieved from http://www. au. af. mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch15. html The Living Legacy Foundation. (n. d. ). Retrieved June 23, 2011, from Second chances. Infinite hope. : http://www. thellf. org/default. asp? id=31 Why Donate? From Donate the Gift of Life. (2011) Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www. organdonor. gov/default. asp