Letters

Non-heart beating organ doners for transplantation

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6936.1103c (Published 23 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1103
  1. C Ferguson,
  2. R H Moore,
  3. P J A Griffin,
  4. R H H Lord,
  5. J R Salaman
  1. Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff CF2 1SZ
  2. Department of Medicine, Qeen's University of Belfast, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast BT9 7AB.

    EDITOR, - The results of the programme for obtaining organs from non- heart beating organ donors reported by K Varty and colleagues1 are compatible with those from other centres world-wide*RF 2-4* and show that such donors are an important potential source of kidneys for transplantation. We have been planning a similar programme but have hesitated because of uncertainty about the public response and the quality of the organs. Now that a national precedent has been set we intend to implement our programme.

    Early cooling of the organs is crucial to success, but concern has been expressed over the legality of organ perfusion catheters being placed before consent has been obtained from the dead person's relatives. There is no case law on the subject, but the Human Tissues Act of 1961 could be interpreted as allowing this action. The person “lawfully in possession” of the body may give permission for organs to be removed provided he or she has “made such reasonable inquiry as may be …

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