Non-heart-beating organ donation: A defense of the required determination of death

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35 Scopus citations


The family of a patient who is unconscious and respirator-dependent has made a decision to discontinue medical treatment. The patient had signed a donor card. The family wants to respect this decision, and agrees to non-heart-beating organ donation. Consequently, as the patient is weaned from the ventilator, he is prepped for organ explantation. Two minutes after the patient goes into cardiac arrest, he is declared dead and the transplant team arrives to begin organ procurement. At the time retrieval begins, it is not certain that the patient's brain is dead or that cardiac function cannot be restored. Procurement follows uneventfully, and two transplantable kidneys are retrieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


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