Permanence can be Defended

Bioethics 31 (3):220-230 (2016)
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Abstract

In donation after the circulatory-respiratory determination of death, the dead donor rule requires that the donor be dead before organ procurement can proceed. Under the relevant limb of the Uniform Determination of Death Act 1981, a person is dead when the cessation of circulatory-respiratory function is ‘irreversible’. Critics of current practice in DCDD have argued that the donor is not dead at the time organs are procured, and so the procurement of organs from these donors violates the dead donor rule. We offer a new argument here in defence of current DCDD practice, and, in particular, of the interpretation of the requirement of ‘irreversibility’ as permanence.

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