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Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1993 Jun;3(2):179-87.

Conflict of interest in the procurement of organs from cadavers following withdrawal of life support.

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University of Nebraska Medical School, Omaha.


The University of Pittsburgh policy for procuring organs from non-heart-beating cadaver donors recognizes the potential for conflicts of interest between caring for a "hopelessly ill" patient who has forgone life-sustaining treatment and caring for a potential organ donor. The policy calls for a separation between those medical personnel who care for the gravely ill patient and those involved with the care of transplant recipients. While such a separation is possible in theory, it is difficult or impossible to attain in practice. However, such a separation of duties would be unnecessary if an arbitrator were appointed to monitor the proceedings as they take place on a case-by-case basis. In this way, the biases--real or potential--of the individuals involved could be identified, and the harmful effects of the unavoidable conflicts of interest could be minimized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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