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Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):1392-5.

Ethical considerations in the early composite tissue allograft experience: a review of the Louisville Ethics Program.

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University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA.


This paper reviews the formulation and evolution of the ethical component in one of the earliest clinical composite tissue allograft (CTA) programs, the hand transplantation program in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The purpose was to derive lessons and define principles to give guidance for future programs and introduction of new CTA. We reviewed the initial ethical considerations, including input from respected ethical scholars, guidelines for innovative procedures transparency in public and professional scrutiny, and compliance with human studies regulations (IRB approval). We found the initial focus on ethics, scholarly input, guidelines for innovative procedures, and human studies protection regulations to be valid. Moreover, we noted the effect of autonomy in subjective, quality-of-life benefits on equipoise and effective risk-benefit analysis in effective informed consent. We found that psychiatric screening and support to be exceptionally valuable in protecting autonomy, suitability for participation, assessing personality organization, and determining compliance ability. We conclude that the program ethical principles were validated. For future CTA programs and procedures, we recommend an ethical emphasis with adherence to high standards and transpire to independence to scrutiny and oversight. We recommend protection of autonomy judgments in equipoise judgment and informed consent. We recommend skilled psychiatric screening and support. We endorse scholarship, scientific accuracy, and data sharing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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