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Thinking about Consent and Procurement in Organ Donation: Some Lingering Issues in the Areas of Ethics, The Law, and Public Perception

Monday April 11th from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM in Lecture Hall 2

Sponsored by Stony Brook University's Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics and Organ Donor Council

The Question of Presumed Consent: 9:00 AM-10 AM
Ought we, as a nation, to adopt a policy of "presumed consent" in which one is born a donor by default (and therefore would have to opt out of this status), as is the case in Europe, or a nation of "individual consent," in which one has to go out of one's way to opt into the system, as is currently the case in the USA?

The Question of Individual Consent and Family Resistance: 10 AM-11 AM
What ought we to do when the wishes of a prospective donor, who has given his or her consent to donate, are not accepted by that donor's family? What are the ethical, legal, and public perception issues involved in refusing that donor's explicit wishes?

11:00 AM-11:30 AM: Coffee and Bagel Break

The Question of Organ Donation by Cardiac Death: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Are DCD ("Donation by Cardiac Death") cases of organ donation medically acceptable? The standard kind of organ donation case occurs in cases of brain death, but at Stony Brook we are also required to report when there are eligible donors who die of non-brain related sicknesses or injuries. Yet, many physicians, here and elsewhere, feel uncomfortable with this legal directive because they question whether and under what circumstances these sorts of patients/donors are in the first place declared dead in advance of harvesting their organs. What, as a society, ought we to do about DCD?

Participants will include:
Andrew Flescher, Ph.D. (moderator), Associate Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Medical Humanities (Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics)
Michael Vetrano, Ph.D., Associate Course Director (Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics)
Christina Strong, Esq., Attorney of Health Care Law and Policy, Joint Organ Donation Task Force, New Jersey Hospital Association
Dana Lustbader, M.D., Section Head of Palliative Medicine at North Shore LIJ Medical Center
Daniel Sloniewsky. M.D., Pediatrician, University Hospital, Stony Brook
Mark Shapiro, M.D. Trauma Surgeon and Anesthesiologist University Hospital, Stony Brook
Kenneth Prager, M.D., F.A.C.P.Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine; Director, Clinical Ethics; Chairman, Medical Ethics Committee

Coffee and bagels will be served