Transplant division

July 31, 1998

HOSPITAL doctors, GPs and the public need to agree a set of ethical priorities for the allocation of organ transplants, conclude researchers from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

James Neuberger and his team asked members of the three groups to choose four out of eight hypothetical recipients for a new liver. They found they differed considerably in their choices.

The public tended to respond more emotionally and preferred, for example, a pregnant woman with a low chance of survival to a serving prisoner with a higher chance, whereas hospital doctors took a more medical stance. Family doctors fell in between the two other groups.

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