Ethics Committee Update

Projects pending from prior to 2018

The psychosocial evaluation of living donors (PELOD) was a project initiated during the tenure of Dominique Martin MBBS, BA (Hons Phil.), PhD as Chair on the Ethics Committee. She is overseeing the preparation of a comprehensive document/publication. Currently an Dittmer and Riadh Fadhil are putting together a summary of the topics (see following page) while the definitive document is being prepared by Dominique Martin.

Xenotransplantation Clinical Trials in Korea

Ian Dittmer was an invited participant from the TTS Ethics Committee addressing the ethical issues involved in two clinical trials that were proposed to the Korean government involving xenotransplantation of pancreatic islets and corneas. A summary of the issues involved in xenotransplantation will be included in an ethical minireview. (see below)

Commentary Requested by Executive Committee

Organ Donation by euthanasia (ODE). The Ethics Committee has been asked to address the practice of utilizing organs for transplantation removed from patients undergoing medico-legally sanctioned euthanasia. As you can imagine, this practice has the potential to “backfire” and have a negative impact on deceased organ donation. Clearly this is a challenging issue, and the committee was asked to provide commentary regarding this article and the complex issues associated with donations arising from Voluntary Assisted Dying Programs.

Kumud Dhital (Australia), Chair of the Heart and Lung Committee, has an interest in this challenging area and will take the lead on this topic in conjunction with members of the ethics committee. A recent article which was the impetus for the request for further commentary from the Ethics Committee: Bollen, Jan A.m., et al. “Euthanasia through Living Organ Donation: Ethical, Legal, and Medical Challenges.” The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, vol. 38, no. 2, 2019, pp. 111–113., doi:10.1016/j.healun.2018.07.014.

Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism

The Ethics Committee will continue to work in conjunction with the WHO task force, DICG, ONT (Organización Nacional de Trasplantes) to address the ongoing issues with organ trafficking and transplant tourism. The Ethics Committee will continue to have membership on the TTS China Committee and the TTS India Committee, and seek input from the full membership of the Ethics Committee when guidance is requested

Current Activities

The entire Ethics Committee is participating in the preparation of a document/publication for Transplantation which summarizes ethical issues which globally impact transplantation. Each of these topics, will consist of 2-3 pages of “minireviews”, with each minireview addressing the problem/issue (i.e. global kidney exchange), the ethical issues/challenges associated with each topic, and recommendations.

These topics will include:

  • Global Kidney Exchange
    Rudolf Garcia-Gallont
  • Legal Age Limit for Donation
    Kristof Van Assche
  • Guidelines for Psychosocial Evaluation of Living Organ Donors
    Riadh Fadhil
  • Living Donor Transplant for Metabolic Disease
    Ian Dittmer
  • Ethical Issues in Advanced Donation Programs
    Ifeoma Ulasi and Richard S. Trompeter
  • Ethical Aspects in Living Multivisceral Organ Transplant
    Alejandro Niño-Murcia
  • Use of Social Media
    Elmi Muller and Beatriz Dominguez-Gil
  • Xenotransplantation
    Ian Dittmer
  • Stem Cell Therapy
    Peter Stock
  • Organ Donation by Euthanasia
    Kumud Dhital
  • Ethical Issues in Setting Up Transplant Programs in Resource Limited Countries
    Richard Allen