Report of a National Conference on Donation after cardiac death

Am J Transplant. 2006 Feb;6(2):281-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.01194.x.


A national conference on organ donation after cardiac death (DCD) was convened to expand the practice of DCD in the continuum of quality end-of-life care. This national conference affirmed the ethical propriety of DCD as not violating the dead donor rule. Further, by new developments not previously reported, the conference resolved controversy regarding the period of circulatory cessation that determines death and allows administration of pre-recovery pharmacologic agents, it established conditions of DCD eligibility, it presented current data regarding the successful transplantation of organs from DCD, it proposed a new framework of data reporting regarding ischemic events, it made specific recommendations to agencies and organizations to remove barriers to DCD, it brought guidance regarding organ allocation and the process of informed consent and it set an action plan to address media issues. When a consensual decision is made to withdraw life support by the attending physician and patient or by the attending physician and a family member or surrogate (particularly in an intensive care unit), a routine opportunity for DCD should be available to honor the deceased donor's wishes in every donor service area (DSA) of the United States.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / ethics*