The god squad and the origins of transplantation ethics and policy

J Law Med Ethics. Summer 2007;35(2):238-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2007.00131.x.


The era of replacing human organs and their functions began with chronic dialysis and renal transplantation in the 1960s. These significant medical advances brought unprecedented problems. Among these, the selection of patients for a scarce resource was most troubling. In Seattle, where dialysis originated, a "God Committee" selected which patients would live and die. The debates over such a committee stimulated the origins of bioethics.

MeSH terms

  • Bioethics*
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidney Transplantation / ethics*
  • Kidney Transplantation / trends
  • Patient Selection / ethics
  • Renal Dialysis / ethics*