November 7, 2013, Volume 13, Issue 21;
The DDR, a standard established in the 1960s to safeguard critically ill patients and their families from unethical practices in organ donation, ensured that patients were declared dead — applying criteria for cardiac and brain death — before any organs could be removed for donation. In opposing perspectives in the Oct. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, two neuroethicists offer reasons why the standard should or should not be changed.
Now, in an exclusive video interview, Neurology
Today Editor-in-chief Steven P. Ringel, MD, and
Associate Editor Robert G. Holloway Jr., MD, provide insights to these, among other, questions: Is the DDR still relevant? Should patients and their families be allowed the autonomy to opt for donation before death?
If the rule changes, how would that affect laws and medical practice? Watch the video for more discussion about the standards in place for the DDR, concerns about the variability in applying criteria for brain death, and the issue of patient autonomy in the context of shortages of organs for donation. For discussion from other leading neuroethicists and neurointensivists, read the Nov. 7 Neurology Today article, “A Matter of Debate: Is it Time to Revisit the Dead Donor Rule?”