Reflections on Non-Heartbeating Organ Donation: How 3 Years of Experience Affected the University of Pittsburgh's Ethics Committee's Actions
Snyder, James V.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1996 Spring; 5(2): 285-292.
In 1991, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) implemented a policy that permitted the recovery of organs from cadavers pronounced dead using standardized cardiac criteria (Non-Heartbeating Cadavers or NHBC). This policy allowed families that had made a decision to forgo life sustaining treatment to then request organ donation. This entailed taking the patient to the operating room, discontinuing therapy (typically but not necessarily a ventilator), and after the patient is pronounced dead, procuring organs....At the UPMC, six procurements have occurred over the last 3 years. As part of a study by the chair of the ethics committee (MD), interviews were conducted after each NHBOD [non-heartbeating organ donation] with all involved healthcare providers and family members. Based on this experience, and reflecting the various criticisms of the policy that have appeared in the literature, several problems have been identified. The authors intend to represent here the conclusions of the UPMC Medical Ethics Committee, rather than their personal viewpoints that may differ from those of the committee. The purpose of this report is to discuss the progress in NHBCOD, identify problems that have been recognized, present the various policy modifications that are being discussed to address these concerns, and further the national debate regarding NHBCOD.
Cadavers; Cardiac Death; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Communication; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Determination of Death; Drugs; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Family Members; Guidelines; Hospitals; Institutional Policies; Interviews; Life; Literature; Medical Devices; Medical Ethics; Organ Donation; Organ Transplantation; Pain; Policy Analysis; Terminal Care; Tissue Donation; 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 ...