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August 26, 2009

Policies of Children’s Hospitals on Donation After Cardiac Death

JAMA. 2009;302(8):844-845. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1207

To the Editor: Dr Antommaria and colleagues1 characterized donation after cardiac death (DCD) policies in children's hospitals and evaluated variation among policies. Western standards are that transplantation of organs is possible only if the patient complies with the dead donor rule.2 Organ procurement is possible after the donor's death and must not cause death. Internationally, it is accepted as a norm that an individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including brain stem, is dead.3Irreversible means that the function cannot be restored by anyone under any circumstances.3

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