The American Thoracic Society has released an official statement on the ethical and health policy considerations surrounding adult and pediatric controlled organ donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD), the recovery of organs after cessation of circulation from patients with severe neurological, neuromuscular or pulmonary disease for whom decisions are made to forego additional life-prolonging treatments.
The ATS developed the statement with input from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and the United Network of Organ Sharing.
The statement appears in the July 1, 2013, issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
"The recovery of viable organs must be performed with maximum respect for dying patients and their families," said Cynthia Gries, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine and clinical translational sciences in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and chair of the committee that drafted the statement. "With that goal in mind, we developed a framework to help guide the various stakeholders involved in the DCDD process."
Recommendations in the statement include the following:
Determination of death
"Increased use of DCDD organs could have a substantial impact on the chronic shortage of donor organs available for transplantation, but as the consent and management of potential DCDD donors occurs before death, it raises a number of important ethical and policy issues," Dr. Gries said. "This statement, which incorporates input from a number of critical care and transplant societies, addresses those issues."
About the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine:
With an impact factor of 11.080, the AJRRCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society.It aims to publish the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in the pulmonary, critical care and sleep-related fields.
Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy.
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