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Non-therapeutic (elective) ventilation of potential organ donors: the ethical basis for changing the law.
  1. A B Shaw
  1. Bradford Hospitals.


    Non-therapeutic ventilation of potential organ donors would increase the supply of kidneys for transplantation. There are no major ethical objections to it. The means of permitting it are forbidden by laws with an ethical basis. A law permitting it would need an ethical basis. Introducing a third legal method of diagnosing death would be unethical. Expanding the power of the advance directive to permit procedures involving minimal harm would be ethical but not helpful. Extending the power of proxies to permit specific non-therapeutic procedures which caused or risked minimal harm to incompetent patients is the best way forward.

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