Limiting Donation After Cardiac Death: Questions on Consent.
Health Law Journal 2010, Annual, 18
Health Law Journal
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I. INTRODUCTION In an effort to overcome a virtually insurmountable organ shortage, various organ procurement organizations, with the support of physicians, have revived an old donation paradigm, "donation after cardiac death" (DCD), without fully considering the ethical and legal implications. This paper argues that the results of this ill-considered baste to push DCD as a new donation option are consent mechanisms of questionable legal authority, particularly concerning the role of substitute decision-makers (SDMs). In particular, this paper demonstrates that even with explicit consent and donation legislation, there remains an unfortunate legislative void regarding the ability of SDMs to consent to DCD pre-mortem interventions. The result of such a gap is a fall-back to the common law, which eliminates the ability of SDMs to consent to treatments on a donor's behalf, except in cases of minors. This void creates a clear and present need for new legislation or regulations to clarify the role and responsibilities of SDMs, failing which DCD protocols should be curtailed. The use of organ donation cards as prior consent for DCD will also be demonstrated as inadequate and arguably without legal grounding. While the primary focus of this paper is Ontario, the ethical and legal issues examined here are being grappled with in many jurisdictions.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Health & Fitness
- Published: 01 January 2010
- Publisher: Health Law Institute
- Print Length: 43 Pages
- Language: English