Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Article excerpt

In the lead article, law professor Maxine M. Harrington, J.D., examines the debate over whether donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors are truly dead. In 2008, widespread publicity was given to the indictment of a transplant surgeon in California in connection with the alleged administration of excessive and inappropriate medications to a potential donor awaiting cardiac death after removal from a ventilator. This and other reports in the lay press mirror the expanding use of DCD to boost the supply of organs. This article explains the practice of donation after cardiac death, examines whether DCD donors are legally dead under the Uniform Deter-mination of Death Act, explores whether it is appropriate to apply DCD as it is currently practiced, addresses the concern that DCD is causing the death of donors, and suggests several approaches to resolve the controversy over the determination of death in DCD donors.

The second article, by Kimberly J. Cogdell, J.D., M.P.H., argues that rather than discarding umbilical cords at birth, this valuable resource of cord blood should be banked and used for research and therapeutic purposes. Each year there are over four million live births in the United States. Each birth produces umbilical cord blood stem cells, which are usually discarded. …

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