Primates and anencephalics as sources for pediatric organ transplants. Medical, legal, and ethical issues.
This article discusses some of the medical, legal, and ethical issues in using organs from primates and anencephalics to transplant to infants who will otherwise die. The use of primates is discouraging on ethical grounds due to scarcity of chimpanzees, the preferred species, and to the poor chance of survival. Anencephalic fetuses and newborns are promising sources of organs for pediatric transplants, provided that ethical and legal considerations are met. An argument is made, based on current practice in management of dying donors, that complies with the legal requirement to delay organ removal until after whole brain death; however, this approach requires the compensating step of gradual cooling of the body of the newly delivered anencephalic to save the organs from ischemia.
Fletcher, JC; Robertson, JA; Harrison, MR
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