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>Journals >Cirujano General >Year 2013, Issue S2

Plata MJJ
Ethical arguments supporting donation after cardiac arrest
Cir Gen 2013; 35 (S2)

Language: Español
References: 43
Page: 143-154
PDF: 4. Kb.

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When clinical transplantation became a reality during the first part of last century, all organs were retrieved from patients declared “clinically death”. In those cases donors were taken to the operating room after cardiorespiratory arrest and their organs were surgically obtained immediately after a “certified doctor” had declared the patient’s death. After the ad hoc committee resolution endorsed the concept that irreversible damage to the brainstem represents the death of the person as a unit not the occurrence of cardiac arrest, organ retrieval rapidly switched from patents “clinically death” in whom their hearts had stopped beating to patients certified dead after brainstem permanent dysfunction in whom their hearts are still beating during organ retrieval. These heart-beating-donors have become the principal source of organs for transplantation for the last 40 years. However, the number of heart-beating-donors is not increasing at the same rate of the need for organs for transplantation, therefore reintroduction of organ retrieval from patients with irreversible brain damage that not fulfill the brain death criteria, patients with massive irreversible cardiac injury, end-stage pulmonary or muscular disease, whom voluntarily decided by themselves or their surrogate decision maker´s to withdrawal life sustaining treatment offers a possibility of a new pool of organs for transplantation. The transplant community agrees that the use of organs from these donors is an effective strategy to increase the number of organs available for transplantation and reduce the number of patients dying on the waiting list but had stressed the need to consolidate this practice through an strict observance of the ethical implication and lawfulness of clinical interventions that characterize organ donation after cardiorespiratory arrest. This article highlights the ethical challenges associated with these particular model of organ donation and suggests strategies to resolve satisfactorily this ethical dilemmas.

Key words: Ethics, organ, cardiac arrest.


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>Journals >Cirujano General >Year 2013, Issue S2

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