Anscombe Bioethics
Vatican Double Helix Staircase
Bioethics Centre
Organ report

On the Ethics of Organ Transplantation: A Catholic Perspective

The report of a working party

This report is the work of an international group of clinicians, philosophers, and theologians, convened by the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford. The aim of the report is to set out the ethical requirements which must be met if transplant medicine is to achieve its true end, and merit the support of Catholics and, more generally, of men and women of good will. It also addresses some new concerns which have arisen, within the Church and within society, about the ethical practice of transplantation, and in particular the criteria for diagnosing death and the issue of presumed consent.

'I welcome this report as a source of reflection to help Catholics, and men and women of good will, to examine the ethical issues that surround organ transplantation so they come to an informed choice. I hope it will also be of use to healthcare professionals in reflecting on their practice, to practice ethically in the service of the human family.' - Archbishop Peter Smith


I. Live donation

1. Current practice, legal structure and professional guidance in the United Kingdom and Ireland
2. Ethical issues

II. Post mortem donation

1. Current practice, legal structure and professional guidance in the United Kingdom and Ireland
2. Ethical and philosophical issues

III. Conclusion

Members of this working party:

Rev. Dr. Michael Jarmulowicz (chair), MB BS (London), BSc (London), FRCPath, KSG, Pathologist, London UK

Prof. David Albert Jones (secretary), MA (Cantab), MA, MSt, DPhil (Oxon), Director, Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford UK

Rev. Dr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, BSE, STB, MDiv, STL, PhD, STD (cand), Molecular Biologist and Bioethicist, Providence USA

Dr. Rupert Beale, MB BChir, PhD, MRCP, Clinical Lecturer in Nephrology, Cambridge UK

Dr. John Curran, MB, PhD, FRCA, Anaesthetist, Nottingham UK

Prof Pedro Errasti MD, PhD, Professor of Nephrology and of Organ Transplantation, Navarre Spain

Mr. Oswald N Fernando FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Edin), Emeritus Consultant Transplant Surgeon, London UK

Rev. Nigel Griffin, BSc, DipTh, MA, Parish Priest and Former Hospital Chaplain, London UK

Dr. Dermot Kearney, MB BCh, BAO (NUI), MD (NUI), MRCPI, Cardiologist, Gateshead UK

Prof. Patrick Lee, BA, MA, PhD, John N and Jamie D McAleer Professor of Bioethics, Steubenville USA

Prof. Neil Scolding, PhD, FRCP, Burden Professor of Clinical Neurosciences, Bristol UK

Prof. Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, BA (Hons), MA (Monash), PhD (Melb), FHERDSA, KCSG, Bioethicist, Melbourne Australia

ISBN: 978-0-906561-13-3

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