Ethics and Law of DCD Transplant

  • Annalisa Dolcet
  • Kristopher P. Croome
  • Nigel HeatonEmail author


Throughout the world, the practice of organ donation for transplantation is governed by the dead donor rule, that is, non-paired vital organs can be retrieved only from patients who are dead. While this principle is constant, the specifics surrounding the laws and cultural practices relating to death and organ donation vary significantly between countries. Key ethical concepts include autonomy, non-maleficence, futility, equity, and utility. This chapter covers a number of ethical considerations encountered with DCD liver transplantation including timing of the decision to withdrawal treatment in patients who may be potential donors, donor treatment prior to death, site for withdrawal of treatment, declaration of death, and stand-off time prior to starting retrieval and organ allocation/sharing. This chapter also provides country-specific information on both laws and practices surrounding DCD organ donation.


Donation after circulatory death Ethics Law Organ donation Maastricht Worldwide 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annalisa Dolcet
    • 1
  • Kristopher P. Croome
    • 2
  • Nigel Heaton
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Liver StudiesKing’s College HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of TransplantationMayo Clinic FloridaJacksonvilleUSA

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