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Authors' response: Organ donation developments should be openly discussed in the public arena, but it is up to the medical profession to tread an acceptable path; a path that might be right for one society but not for another
  1. Matthew Reed1,
  2. Caroline Bruce2
  1. 1 Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMeRGE), Emergency Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Matthew Reed, Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMeRGE), Emergency Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK;mattreed1{at}

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We are pleased that Rady and colleagues have highlighted that the increasing role that emergency medicine is bound to play in organ donation over the next decade will thrust it into the intense debate surrounding the scientific, legal and ethical challenges of end-of-life organ procurement.1 With all new and innovative developments, there is a spectrum of views. Rady and colleagues have already published widely disputing the legality and ethical acceptability of all forms of cadaveric organ donation.2 They also comprehensively question the scientific validity of diagnosing death and, therefore, represent one extreme pole of the argument.

While we agree with them that organ donation at the end of life should be openly discussed and debated in the public arena, we suggest that not every member of the public may be able to, or even wish to take a fully informed position on every issue that surrounds cadaveric organ donation and uncontrolled donation after circulatory death. It is up to the medical profession to debate the issues and to …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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