Monday, February 13, 2012

Doctors' radical plan to tackle organ shortage

The Guardian, UK | Dennis Campbell

Patients could be kept alive to become donors and hearts retrieved from newborn babies in controversial BMA proposals

Patients could be kept alive solely so they can become organ donors, hearts could be retrieved from newborn babies for the first time, and body parts could be taken from high-risk donors as part of an urgent medical and ethical revolution to ease Britain's chronic shortage of organs, doctors' leaders say .

Hearts could also be taken from recently deceased patients and restarted in those needing a cardiac transplant, under controversial proposals from the British Medical Association intended to stop up to 1,000 people a year dying because of the country's chronic shortage of organs.

A new BMA report on ways to increase the supply of organs, which it has shown to the Guardian, has revived the intense ethical debate about how far doctors should go to help save the lives of the growing number of patients with organ failure.

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