Sunday, May 25, 2008

'Rapid Organ Recovery' ambulance proposed in NY

In the NY Times, a number of bioethicists comment on a plan to deploy a special ambulance to collect the bodies of people who have died suddenly from traumas or heart attacks and try to preserve their organs: "The organ team would wait five minutes after EMTs give up on resuscitation, to create a clear demarcation between efforts to save lives and those to preserve organs. 'The process of resuscitation would be very distinct from the process of organ recovery so that we would be sure that, ethically, there's no potential for an overlap or misconstruing of what's going on,' said Bradley Kaufman, a top medical director for the New York City Fire Department, which operates ambulances."

However, a number of bioethicists, such as Michael A. Grodin, Robert Truog, Art Caplan, Leslie Whetstine, and Nancy Dubler, who is helping vet the plan, have expressed concerns that the plan may undermine public trust in emergency medical care and the organ donor system and aggravate fears of disadvantaged groups that already harbor deep distrust of the medical system.

Access to the full article here.

1 comment:

dr_dredd said...

I think it's a really, really horrible idea. Yes, I know that there are many more people in need of transplants than there are organs available, but having ambulances cruising the street looking for the newly dead is the wrong way to address the situation. People already don't trust organ procurement operations; this won't help.