D P Price
Ann Transplant 1998; 3(2): 34-37
OBJECTIVES: The European Commission funded EUROTOLD Project sought to examine the legal and ethical implications of living donor organ transplantation within Europe, facilitated by a multi-centre study acquiring data on practices, laws, policies, attitudes and decision-making processes. METHODS: Methods involving primary sources included interviews with clinical staff and past and present organ donors and recipients, and questionnaire surveys of transplant centres, individual clinical staff and legal experts. These strategies were supplemented by an examination of secondary sources such as official reports, transplantation literature, etc. RESULTS: The surveys generated substantial new evidence relating to transplant centre policies and practices, and the attitudes of physicians toward living donation generally and the use of certain specific classes of donor. The latter was facilitated by the use of case scenarios, providing a window upon factors influencing judgments in this sphere. The interview data confirmed earlier findings about donor decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: Responding centres and clinicians displayed a fairly liberal attitude toward living donation but substantial diversity nonetheless exists with regard to living donor transplant volumes between centres and surrounding acceptable waiting times for transplant. Further research is required to identify precisely the reasons underpinning such disparity.
Keywords: Ethics, Medical, Europe, Family, Humans, Informed Consent - legislation & jurisprudence, Interviews as Topic, Living Donors - legislation & jurisprudence, Organ Transplantation, Physicians, Questionnaires, Tissue and Organ Procurement - legislation & jurisprudence, Tissue and Organ Procurement - organization & administration, Tissue and Organ Procurement - standards