"An ignoble form of cannibalism": reflections on the Pittsburgh protocol for procuring organs from non-heart-beating cadavers

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1993 Jun;3(2):231-9. doi: 10.1353/ken.0.0070.


The author discusses the ways in which she finds the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center protocol for procuring organs from "non-heart-beating cadaver donors" medically and morally questionable and irreverent. She also identifies some of the factors that contributed to the composition of this troubling protocol, and to its institutional approval.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Death*
  • Dehumanization*
  • Ethics, Institutional*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Hospital-Patient Relations
  • Hospitals, University / standards
  • Human Body
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care / standards*
  • Morals
  • Pennsylvania
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / organization & administration
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / standards*
  • United States
  • Withholding Treatment*