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Pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death: Respecting the interests of children through routine consideration of donation opportunities

Version 2 2024-06-04, 07:47
Version 1 2016-03-10, 15:37
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 07:47 authored by Dominique MartinDominique Martin, MJ Siebelink, B Domínguez-Gil
Overby and colleagues (2015) highlight the complexities of consent to or authorization for organ procurement in the setting of controlled donation after circulatory determination of death (cDCDD). They note that decision making about cDCDD is complicated by clinical uncertainties and ethical controversies regarding protocols for the determination of death by circulatory criteria and the use of perimortem interventions to support organ procurement, and that these uncertainties and controversies may be exacerbated in the pediatric context. Suggesting that parents and clinicians may “unconsciously” compromise the best interests of their own children and patients in order to achieve organ procurement goals, Overby and colleagues argue that children are at risk of instrumentalization when the option of cDCDD is presented. This claim is further grounded in their belief that children lack autonomy and can have no interest in becoming organ donors. In this commentary, we contest these assumptions, the implications of which extend beyond cDCDD and threaten to undermine programs of pediatric deceased donation, including donation after the neurologic determination of death (DNDD). We argue that routine consideration of the possibility of organ donation by critically ill children is consistent with respect for children's best interests and, most importantly, their human dignity.

History

Journal

American journal of bioethics

Volume

15

Pagination

23-25

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1526-5161

eISSN

1536-0075

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Taylor & Francis

Issue

8

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

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