The National Catholic Bioethics Center Joins the National Catholic Partnership on
Disability in Their Mutual Attempt to Protect Potential Organ Donors After Circulatory Death (DCD Donors) from Abuses
October 22, 2013
After a series of small victories in defense of organ donors, as well as a nationally broadcast NPR story, The National Catholic Bioethics Center and NCPD are renewing the organ donation conversation as they continue to collaboratively express their opposition to current drafts of policies drawn by the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Specific concerns relate to the potential violation of the so-called “Dead Donor Rule” as well as the true informed consent of potential donors and their families. Persons with disabilities will be particularly vulnerable due to a number of factors, including the proposed change in eligibility criteria for potential donors. Despite the revision of some wording in the OPTN policies (a positive result of the aforementioned NPR story), there remains great potential for coercion and other abuses as explained in the NCBC's two statements to OPTN: HERE and HERE.
Through the tireless efforts of Dr. Marie Hilliard, the NCBC collaborated with NCPD’s past chairperson and current NCPD Board member, Steve Mikochik, JD, in developing a panel response delivered by Professor Mikochik at the 4th International Congress on ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Therapy, at Penn State Hershey Heart & Vascular Institute, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State College of Medicine on October 19, 2013. The misuse of Extracorporeal Interval Support for Organ Retrieval (EISOR), a procedure utilizing modified ECMO to bring about brain and cardiac death of potential organ donors, was identified by Professor Mikochik, whose comments can be read HERE.