The transplant community has quietly initiated efforts to expand the current pool of cadaver organ donors to include those who are dead by cardiac criteria but cannot be pronounced dead using brain-based criteria. There are many reasons for concern about "policy creep" regarding who is defined as a potential organ donor. These reasons include loss of trust in the transplant community because of confusion over the protocols to be used, blurring the line between life and death, stress on family members, and burdens imposed on health care providers when a long-standing policy regarding who can serve as a cadaver organ donor is unilaterally changed. While these concerns are not sufficient reason for abandoning efforts to broaden existing eligibility standards for cadaver donation, they are sufficient reasons for the transplant community to desist in changing existing standards without widespread professional and public discussion.


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pp. 251-262
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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