Organ donation: When should doctors act?
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine about pediatric heart transplantation is raising new questions about when and how someone can be declared dead. This topic would be good for in-depth pieces and further coverage of organ donation issues.
The Institute of Medicine has several reports on organ donation, which have explored how long surgeons should wait to take organs from donors among other difficult scientific and ethical questions.
- Report: Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action (2006) and News release
- Report: Non-Heart-Beating Organ Transplantation: Medical and Ethical Issues in Procurement (1997) and News release
- A follow-up 2000 report, Non-Heart-Beating Organ Transplantation: Practice and Protocols, reiterates the 1997 report’s recommendations and offers recommendations to facilitate the adoption of protocols based on the 1997 report’s recommendation by all organ procurement organizations.
Journalists can get PDF or printed copies of IOM reports by contacting Christine Stencel at 202-334-2138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.