In 1997, the Institute of Medicine published a report entitled Non-Heart- Beating Organ Transplantation: Medical and Ethical Issues in Procurement. The findings and recommendations of that study defined the ethical and scientific basis for non-heart-beating organ donation and transplantation, and provided specific recommendations for practices that affirm patient welfare, promote patient and family choice, and avoid conflicts of interest.
Following the 1997 study, the Department of Health and Human Services requested a follow up study to promote such efforts. The central activity for this study was a workshop held in Washington, D.C., on May 24-25, 1999. The workshop provided the opportunity for extensive dialogue on non-heart-beating organ donation among hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) that are actively involved in non-heartbeating organ and tissue donation and those with concerns about whether and how to proceed.
The findings and recommendations of this report are based in large measure on the discussions and insights from that workshop. Non-Heart-Beating Organ Transplantation includes seven recommendations for developing and implementing non-heart-beating-donor protocols. These recommendations were based on the findings and recommendations from the 1997 IOM report and consensus achieved among participants at the national workshop. The committee developed these recommendations as steps towards an approach to non-heart-beating-donor organ donation and procurement consistent with underlying scientific and ethical guidelines, patient and family options and choices, and public trust in organ donation.