We describe the medical state of the art in liver, pancreas and small bowel transplantation, and portray the ethical issues. Although most ethical questions related to these transplantations are not specific for liver, pancreas and small bowel, they do challenge ethical analysis as well as new policies and clinical procedures. Firstly, outcomes continue to be of utmost concern, as information is only limited available, is developing over time and is surrounded by many uncertainties. Secondly, characteristics of donors and recipients should be carefully evaluated. The question of what qualifies a donor and a recipient should be considered against the background of a quest for extended criteria, embracing marginal cases, and a judgment with regard to what counts as a good enough outcome. Thirdly, ethical principles of autonomy and fairness are pushed, given the circumstance of severe scarcity, towards limits that can easily be crossed.

Benefits, Consent, Donation, Fairness, Kidney transplantation, Liver transplantation, Pancreas transplantation, Risks, Small bowel transplantation
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpg.2014.02.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/87472
Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
Department of Medical Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine

van Dijk, G.W, Hilhorst, M.T, & Rings, E.H.H.M. (2014). Liver, pancreas and small bowel transplantation: Current ethical issues. Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology, 28(2), 281–292. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2014.02.003