Thursday, August 14, 2008

Undermining Public Trust in Organ Donation

Wesley Smith has responded to an interesting article written by Boucek et al, published in the New England Journal of Medicine 359: 709-714 entitled Pediatric Heart Transplantation after Declaration of Cardiocirculatory Death.

Smith explains that the article appears to be reporting on cases whereby the ethical rules were ignored or "expanded" in order to procure organs from these infants. By ignoring or expanding the ethical guidelines these physicians are in fact undermining public trust in organ donation.

This is a very important point of view.

If you undermine the public trust in organ donation, fewer people will be willing to donate their organs.

Smith also comments of Robert Veatch perspective pertaining to the same study.

Veatch agrees that the "protocols" were broken in the cases refered to in the article. Veatch appears to be playing with the idea of changing the rules.

He states:
"It may ultimately be deemed acceptable to amend either the dead donor rule or the brain-based definition of death."

There are further concerns within the article that I am focusing a future article on.

Link to the further concerns:

Link to Wesley Smith's article:

Link to the New England Journal of Medicine article:
Pediatric Heart Tranplantation after Declaration of Cardiocirculatory Death

Link to the Robert M Veatch comments:
Donating Hearts after Cardiac Death - Reversing the Irreversible

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