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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Informed Consent in Organ Donation and Abandonment of the Dead-Donor Rule

Matthew Phillip Mead
Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (2): 47–56.


There has been considerable discussion regarding the ethics of organ transplantation and the dead-donor rule (DDR). Much of the medical and philosophical literature reveals inherent difficulties in definitions of death and the appropriate time to begin organ procurement. In this essay, an argument is presented for abandoning the DDR and switching to a practice in which donors are informed of the conditions under which their organs will be removed, rather than the current practice of requiring a declaration of death. Informed organ donation consent (IODC) would allow for greater transparency in the organ procurement process and alleviate many of the ethical concerns raised in the literature today surrounding these practices. This has the potential to improve public trust of organ procurement and increase the numbers of donors.

The article is here.