Washington International Law Journal


David Forster


Organ transplantations from brain-dead donors have been de facto prohibited in Japan since 1968. Buddhism, Shintoism, the Japanese concept of personhood, Japanese medical and hospital practices, the police, and the Patient's Rights Conference have all contributed to this situation. However, consensus has been growing in Japanese society and government that these operations should be legalized. The Diet began considering a proposed bill to this end on April 12, 1994. This comment argues that the bill ought to be passed. If passed, this bill will save the lives of many Japanese, it will end the difficulties Japanese currently encounter going overseas for organ transplantations, and it will end the possibility of Japan acquiring an unfavorable international reputation for taking from the international organ pool but not contributing to it.

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