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Original Research |

Selection of Patients for Artificial and Transplanted Organs

HARRY S. ABRAM, M.D.; and WALTER WADLINGTON, LL.B.
Ann Intern Med. 1968;69(3):615-620. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-69-3-615
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SUMMARY:

This study examines the critical ethical and legal dilemmas of patient selection that medical progress in artificial and transplanted organs is producing. We approach the problem by giving critical evaluations of the selection procedures in the allied fields of abortion, euthanasia, and artificial insemination. After citing the crucial differences in these fields, the criteria for selection of patients for chronic hemodialysis is examined. Selection criteria from 11 of 14 dialysis centers supported by the U. S. Public Health Service are presented and examined. Finally, the authors conclude with the following guidelines for insuring an enlightened policy of patient selection for artificial and transplanted organs: A committee of physicians aided by qualified laymen should do the selecting from criteria that is essentially medical, psychological, and environmental. Medical curricula should increase preparation in the humanities and ethics so that physicians will be better qualified to handle the variety of responsibilities medical progress is creating.

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