Death by organ donation?
August 24, 2008 4:42 AM Subscribe
posted by shokod (26 comments total)
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Is it time to redefine death? In a recent article
in the NEJM, a team of doctors described decreasing the period after cessation of heart function in order to collect donations and increase their viability. This has spiked some debate over the definition of brain death and the "irreversibility" of asystole
after removing life support. An introduction
to the situation and the arguments. An interesting round table discussion
, chaired by Atul Gawande.
"The ethically relevant precondition is valid consent...with such consent, there is no harm or wrong done in retrieving vital organs before death, provided that anesthesia is administered." "This means that under current law, it is not possible to procure a transplantable heart after cardiac death. There are two possible ways out of this dilemma. Both involve legal changes." "To what extent should society permit manipulation of an organ donor or alteration of the determination of human death for the good of organ recipients?" Previously
More fun stuff:
Legal definitions: the death act (US)
; Transplantation and Anatomy Act, s45(1) (AUS)
; the UK has no precise definition for brain death
Criteria for determining if someone is actually brain dead.
Statistics on US donors.
The status of the international organ trade.
The issues of the opt-in vs opt-out system
And, of course, how to donate: US