In recent years the replacement of organs by transplants or artificial organs has been a subject discussed with extraordinary frequency between doctors, theologians, and jurists. Many concrete questions — some put forward with great passion -have stimulated interest among wide sectors of the public. Among other questions concern has been voiced about the determination of the time of death. A suitable legal basis has been sought which sets down definitive guidelines to make medical progress possible in this future-oriented area, while at the same time satisfactorily guaranteeing the basic human rights of the individual. In a certain sense many questions have now become less crucial, on the one hand, because many criteria have been generally accepted, e.g., those relating to the necessary conditions regarding the donor for the organ transplants currently practiced, or the creation of separate teams providing a mutual control and check of the researchers, and on the other hand, because the current status of research has, at least temporarily, relegated certain themes to the background, e.g., heart transplants, until the rejection effect can be mastered. Perhaps too the effects are beginning to be felt of the broad educational efforts of many researchers which have led gradually to the reassure-ment of the public.
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