Procuring Organs From a Non-Heart-Beating Cadaver: A Case Report
DeVita, Michael A.
Snyder, James V.
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1993 Dec; 3(4): 371-385.
Organ transplantation is an accepted therapy for major organ failure, but it depends on the availability of viable organs. Most organs transplanted in the U.S. come from either "brain-dead" or living related donors. Recently organ procurement from patients pronounced dead using cardiopulmonary criteria, so-called "non-heart-beating cadaver donors" (NHBCDs) has been reconsidered. In May 1992, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) enacted a new, complicated policy for procuring organs from NHBCDs after the elective removal of life support. Seventeen months later only one patient has become a NHBCD. This article describes her case and the results of interviews with the health care team and the patient's family. The case and interviews are discussed in relation to several of the ethical concerns previously raised about the policy, including potential conflicts of interest, the definition of cardiopulmonary death, and a possible net decrease in organ donation. The conclusion is reached that organ procurement from non-heart-beating cadavers is feasible and may be desirable both for the patient's family and the health care providers.
Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Attitudes to Death; Brain; Cadavers; Cardiac Death; Case Studies; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Communication; Conflict of Interest; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Determination of Death; Donors; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Guidelines; Health; Health Care; Hospitals; Institutional Policies; Interviews; Kidneys; Life; Livers; Methods; Moral Policy; Organ Donation; Organ Transplantation; Organ Procurement; Patient Care; Patients; Professional Patient Relationship; Program Descriptions; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Risks and Benefits; Scarcity; Social Impact; Survey; Terminal Care; Third Party Consent; Transplantation; Withholding Treatment;
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DeVita, Michael A.; Vukmir, Rade; Snyder, James V.; Graziano, Cheryl (1995-03)In the preceding commentary, Campbell and Weber raise two valid and important issues concerning non-heart-beating organ donation (NHBOD). First, because the procedure links withdrawal of life support and the potential ...