Ethical Challenges in Transplant Practice in Latin America: The Aguascalientes Document
Nefrología : publicación oficial de la Sociedad Española Nefrologia 2011 May 18; 31(3): 275-85
Organ transplants are currently an alternative treatment for a growing number of diseases, which were previously considered terminal. Bioethics has played an important role since the advent of this surgical technique, mainly in defining death criteria and the optimum transplantation conditions. This issue continues being a universal focal point, mainly concerning the equity of access to transplantation, criteria for assigning deceased-donor organs, living-donor safety, risk of commercial trade, fair access to high-quality immunosuppressive drugs and organ transplant legislation. These problems are characteristic of Latin America and the Caribbean, and were the driving force behind the First Latin American Bioethics and Transplant Forum, sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Transplant Society (STALYC), and all the transplant societies from subsidiary countries. The "Document of Aguascalientes" is a collection of all the ideas and opinions that were proposed during round tables and analyses. The document is divided into four sections: 1) living donor; 2) organ trading and transplant tourism; 3) the state role in legislation, transplant distribution and coverage; and 4) access to and quality of immunosuppression. The Bioethics and Transplant Forum was created to analyse and find solutions for this complex issue. The "Document of Aguascalientes" aims to serve as an instrument of expression and a vehicle for the ideas put forward during the Forum, so that they can act as transplant practice guidelines in Latin America.
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