Live organ donors a possibility

Jul 10, 2006

Australian health administrators are considering preparing organ donors for transplants while they are still alive, it was reported Sunday.

The Sunday Age said the Australian Health Ethics Committee is seeking to extend transplant preparations to living patients who are certain to die when the heart and circulation stop. Currently, only brain-dead patients are prepared for organ transplants.

New procedures would involve inserting tubes into major arteries to prepare for cleansing of organs after death, blood tests and administering drugs to better preserve organs.

AECH spokesman Peter Joseph said extending the procedures to living patients was necessary to preserve solid organs such as hearts, livers, lungs and kidneys that deteriorated quickly after loss of circulation. He said it was possible someone could be aware they were being prepared for harvesting, but this would not be done without the permission of the donor or the family.

Ray Campbell, a university lecturer in medical ethics and head of the Queensland Bioethics Center, said he was concerned the changes could spur some doctors to physicians to hasten patients' deaths.

"Any attempt to water down our current definition of death should be resisted," he said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Common blood thinner for pregnant women proven ineffective

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Medical advances turn science fiction into science fact

Jul 18, 2014

Exoskeletons helping the paralysed to walk, tiny maggot-inspired devices gnawing at brain tumours, machines working tirelessly as hospital helpers: in many respects, the future of medicine is already here.

First cancer immunotherapy for dogs developed

Jul 04, 2014

Nearly every second dog develops cancer from the age of ten years onward. A few therapies derived from human medicine are available for dogs. A very successful form of therapy by which antibodies inhibit ...

Faster dental treatment with new photoactive molecule

Apr 30, 2014

Photoactive materials are used in modern dentistry, which harden when they are exposed to light. Usually, only thin layers of up to 2 mm can be hardened, due to the limited penetration depth of light. A new ...

Recommended for you

Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men, experts say

18 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of th ...

User comments : 0