An official American Thoracic Society/International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation/Society of Critical Care Medicine/Association of Organ and Procurement Organizations/United Network of Organ Sharing Statement: ethical and policy considerations in organ donation after circulatory determination of death

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Jul 1;188(1):103-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201304-0714ST.


Rationale: Donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD) has the potential to increase the number of organs available for transplantation. Because consent and management of potential donors must occur before death, DCDD raises unique ethical and policy issues.

Objectives: To develop an ethics and health policy statement on adult and pediatric DCDD relevant to critical care and transplantation stakeholders.

Methods: A multidisciplinary panel of stakeholders was convened to develop an ethics and health policy statement. The panel consisted of representatives from the American Thoracic Society, Society of Critical Care Medicine, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and the United Network of Organ Sharing. The panel reviewed the literature, discussed important ethics and health policy considerations, and developed a guiding framework for decision making by stakeholders.

Results: A framework to guide ethics and health policy statement was established, which addressed the consent process, pre- and post mortem interventions, the determination of death, provisions of end-of-life care, and pediatric DCDD.

Conclusions: The information presented in this Statement is based on the current evidence, experience, and clinical rationale. New clinical research and the development and dissemination of new technologies will eventually necessitate an update of this Statement.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Critical Care / ethics
  • Death*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics
  • Organ Transplantation / ethics
  • Societies, Medical / ethics*
  • Terminal Care / ethics
  • Tissue Donors / ethics*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / ethics*
  • United States