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Good results for liver transplantation after euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium

A liver donated after euthanasia can be transplanted just as well as a liver donated after a ‘normal’ death. This has emerged from research by medical researcher Marjolein van Reeven, who is affiliated with the Erasmus MC Department of Surgery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Results of the research
Van Reeven investigated the outcomes of liver transplants in the Netherlands and Belgium with livers donated after euthanasia. The death process – including death after administration of lethal drugs – does not appear to influence the results of the liver transplant. She publishes her results August 5 in the journal Jama Surgery.

Donating organs after euthanasia leads to an increase in the number of organs to be transplanted, which is very important in times of persistent shortages. That the outcome of liver transplantation after euthanasia is just as good as results after a ‘normal’ death is therefore an important finding for people waiting for a liver transplant.

The national guideline organ donation after euthanasia describes in detail how a procedure of organ donation after euthanasia (ODE) should work. The emphasis is placed on keeping euthanasia on the one hand and organ donation on the other as separate as possible.

Read more on the website of the Erasmus Medical Center (in Dutch).