Recycling Dead People’s Medical Equipment : Unethical Or Sensible?

As striking as this title may be, you have to admit that in a society that recycles many things including plastic bottles, paper, and even water…this might just make a little bit of sense! Recently, a chap known as Art Caplan from the Division of Medical Ethics has asked the question ‘should we start thinking about recycling medical equipment from the dead’? Turns out some physicians are already doing this…they are breaking the law in doing so, but they’re doing it all the same. Currently, the recycled equipment is shipped off to poorer countries such as India where it is re-homed in a patient over there.

So should we legalise this form of recycling here so that we reduce the cost on the NHS etc etc, well I say why not!? Heck, unless religiously contraindicated, we have no issue using other peoples blood should we need a transfusion, we don’t mind recycling their kidney when we need it, so why should we have an issue re-using someone’s pacemaker, defibrillator or any other piece of medical equipment from someone’s body?


Medscape, (2014). Recycle Medical Equipment From the Dead? Retrieved 11th June, 2014, from


About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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