'Elective’ Ventilation: An Unethical and Harmful Misnomer?

Stammers, Trevor (2013) 'Elective’ Ventilation: An Unethical and Harmful Misnomer? The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body, 19 (2). pp. 130-140. ISSN 2050-2877

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/2050287713Z.00000000033


The demand for organs prompted the first use of elective ventilation in the UK in the 1990s. Recently the shortfall in supply of organs has once again prompted calls for elective ventilation to be instituted even in patients who are not brain dead. This paper proposes that the term ‘elective’ ventilation is a misnomer and the term non-therapeutic ventilation (NTV) should be used instead. It is further argued that the practice of NTV in cases of severe stroke is unethical and has the potential of causing a variety of harms to the patient, their relatives, and the healthcare professionals working in transplant teams and this may result in a backlash of reductions in the number of organ donations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elective Ventilation; Organ donation; Ethics
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 174 Occupational ethics
600 Technology > 617 Surgery & related medical specialties
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: Catherine O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2014 10:05
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2014 10:05
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/722


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