The National Organ Transplant Act stipulates that deceased donor organs should be justly and wisely allocated based on sound medical criteria. Allocation schemes are consistent across the country, and specific policies are publicly vetted. Patient selection criteria are largely in the hands of individual organ transplant programs, and consistent standards are less evident. This has been particularly apparent for patients with developmental disabilities (DDs). In response to concerns regarding the fairness of transplant evaluations for patients with DDs, we developed a transplant centerwide policy using a multidisciplinary, community-based approach. This publication details the particular policy of our center. All patients should receive individualized assessments using consistent standards; disability should be neither a relative nor an absolute contraindication to transplantation. External review can increase trust in the selection process. Patients in persistent vegetative states should not be listed for transplantation.
The authors present the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children's Hospital's policy addressing developmental disability as a patient selection criterion for deceased donor solid organ transplantation.