In this intruiging article about the first face transplant I was particularly struck by the following:
"Brain-dead patients in France are presumed to be organ donors unless they have made explicit provisions to the contrary, and approval by next of kin is not normally required. But given the delicacy of the case, the donor's family was consulted about the possible harvesting of part of the donor's face during the initial interviews that are undertaken to ensure that the deceased had not given instructions preventing organ donations."
If ever there was an un-American law, this must be it. It certainly demonstrates how cultural and political practices shape what we regard as every day ethical practices.