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Ethical considerations in the application of preconditioning to solid organ transplantation
  1. S J McNally,
  2. E M Harrison,
  3. S J Wigmore
  1. Tissue Injury and Repair Group, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Stephen McNally
 Tissue Injury and Repair Group, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Medical School (6 floor), University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK;


The shortage of organs for transplantation has led researchers to look for new techniques to expand the donor pool. Preconditioning strategies have the potential to protect organs from transplant associated injury or may improve the function of substandard organs so that they become suitable for transplantation. Translating this type of technology to the clinical setting raises ethical issues, particularly relating to the deceased donor. It is important that society has the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by implementation of preconditioning strategies before they are implemented rather than as a reaction to them.

  • preconditioning
  • ethics
  • transplantation

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  • Competing interests: The authors all hold grants and work in the field of experimental preconditioning. SJM and EMH are funded by the Scottish Hospital Endowments Research Trust (SHERT). SJW is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is a member of the ethics committee of the British Transplantation Society, although this article has been written independently of this association and is not intended to represent either the views of the ethics committee or the society as a whole.

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