Artículos de revistas
Ethical issues of organ donation after circulatory death: considerations for a successful implementation in Chile
Developing World Bioethics. 2021;1–8
Pérez Castro, Pablo
Salas, Sofia P.
Organ transplantation is a lifesaving procedure for end-organ damage and remains up to today as the most cost-effective alternative to treat these conditions. However, the main limitation to performing organ transplants is the availability of donor organs suitable for transplantation. To increase the donor pool, expanding organ donation from the conventional neurologic determination of death (NDD) to include circulatory determination of death (DCD) has been a well-established method of increasing donors in other countries. In this article, we discuss the clinical and ethical considerations for introducing DCD in Chile. The concepts we have used could very well be translatable to other similar countries which have not implemented this donation system yet. The most relevant issue to date is that DCD needs to alter the care of dying patients to obtain quality donor organs. In some countries, including Chile, there are some cultural barriers regarding withdrawal-of-care. These barriers include confusing withdrawal of care with acceleration of death, which leads to many practitioners refusing to remove artificial life support, and in turn only minimize ventilatory support or switch to a T-tube (without extubation). This cultural barrier could be overcome with careful consideration of the opinions of healthcare workers, family members, community and policy-based stakeholders. We also identified ethical issues related to informed consent of both donor and recipients, among other relevant ethical considerations. In conclusion, DCD donation in Chile can increase organ donation numbers in one of Latin America's countries with the lowest effective donor rate. However, this opportunity must be taken with caution to avoid the opposite effect if this policy is not well implemented, respecting the sound ethical principles mentioned in this paper.