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Comment & Response
August 8, 2017

Organ Donation After Euthanasia—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • 2Pediatric Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
JAMA. 2017;318(6):576-577. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.8617

In Reply Organ donation after euthanasia has been performed since 2005 in Belgium and 2012 in the Netherlands. Increasing interest only has arisen in the last few years, and therefore it is not possible to draw conclusions about the long-term results. Outcome data of all transplanted organs from organ donation after euthanasia are currently being collected.

It is true that the results of transplantation of organs donated after circulatory death are not always favorable. In a limited study of kidney transplantation after euthanasia in the Netherlands, 15 donations have been studied.1 Twenty-nine kidneys were donated, of which 3 were refused in the transplant center. Immediate graft function occurred in 14 recipients (53.8%), delayed graft function in 11 recipients (42.3%), and primary nonfunction in 1 recipient (3.8%). The mean donor age was 52.1 years (SD, 13.0) and mean recipient age was 52.8 years (SD, 12.3). The kidneys from these donors provided a valuable extension of the donor pool, and the results were equal to organs donated after other causes of cardiac death.2