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May we practise endotracheal intubation on the newly dead?
  1. M Ardagh
  1. Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.

    Abstract

    Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is a valuable procedure which must be learnt and practised, and performing ETI on cadavers is probably the best way to do this, although lesser alternatives do exist. Performing ETI on a cadaver is viewed with a real and reasonable repugnance and if it is done without proper authorisation it might be illegal. Some form of consent is required. Presumed consent would preferably be governed by statute and should only occur if the community is well informed and therefore in a position of being able to decline. Currently neither statute nor adequate informing exists. Endotracheal intubation on the newly dead may be justifiable according to a Guttman scale if the patient has already consented to organ donation and if further research supports the relevance of the Guttman scale to this question. A "mandated choice" with prior individual consent as a matter of public policy is the best of these solutions, however until such a solution is in place we may not practise endotracheal intubation on the newly dead.

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