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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New publication on organ donation by Christen and Gloor: Ethical relevance and factual deficiencies in the communication of specifics of DCDD (in German).

M. Christen and M. Gloor have published in Ethik in der Medizin a new paper on organ donation after circulatory determination of death.


Introduction: In many countries, the number of organ donations after circulatory determination of death (DCDD) is increasing, although various aspects of DCDD are critically discussed in medical ethics. In our work, we identify ethically relevant aspects of the DCDD—in particular regarding preparatory measures and the irreversibility of the death criterion—and we investigate to what extent persons interested in becoming organ donors are informed about those issues.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature review on ethical issues of DCDD. Subsequently, we conducted a worldwide evaluation of organ donation organisations’ websites and an accompanying survey to investigate the extent to which ethically relevant aspects of DCDD play a role in the information of persons interested in becoming organ donors.

Results: We find that a majority of the organisations’ websites do not deal with the subject of DCDD, whereas the responsibles of the organisations surveyed emphasised the importance of education for potential donors.

Conclusion: We point out central issues about which persons willing to become organ donors should be informed if DCDD is practiced in their respective countries. In addition, we advocate that the criteria and the procedures for determining death in the context of transplantation medicine should be uniform in order to defuse some of the critically discussed aspects in the context of DCDD.


Organ donation after circulatory determination of death · Organ procurement organizations · Information duties · Brain death determination


Link to the publication: https://