European Vignettes in Donation After Circulatory Death

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Abstract

Donation after circulatory death (DCD) is increasing in Europe, yet there is widespread variability in practice. Insight into actual practice is difficult to acquire simply by analyzing protocols and laws from each individual country. For this reason, the 3 DCD vignettes in this article have been constructed to outline routine and standard DCD practice in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain. These imagined vignettes reflect a “typical” case, based on the authors’ extensive experience with DCD but are not real patient cases. They are a resource aimed at stimulating discussion regarding European organ donation practice and provide a knowledge bank for those wanting to establish a DCD program in their country. It is our hope that by providing these vignettes, the wider organ donation and transplant community, as well as philosophers and the public, will have a better understanding of what DCD really is and what it really isn’t.

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