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An analysis of the ethical issues surrounding split liver transplantation informed by stakeholder views

Investigators: Professor Heather Draper (PI), Dr Greg Moorlock, Professor James Neuberger & Mr Simon Bramhall.

Split LiverThis project was an ethical analysis of the issues raised by split liver transplantation. When a person dies and agrees to donate their organs, it is sometimes possible to split the donated liver into two parts. This means that two people (usually an adult and a child) can receive a liver transplant instead of one, but the transplant outcomes for the adult recipient are generally not as good as if they had received the liver whole. This raises the question of whether it is desirable to split livers and treat more people (especially more children), or keep livers whole and provide better outcomes for the people who do receive liver transplants. The views of liver transplant staff and liver patients were canvassed using qualitative interviews and a questionnaire survey. The analysis of this data was then used to inform a philosophical analysis of split liver transplantation.

  1. Moorlock, Greg, et al. "An empirically informed analysis of the ethical issues surrounding split liver transplantation in the United Kingdom." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 25.3 (2016): 435-447.
  2. Moorlock, Greg, James Neuberger, and Heather Draper. "Split liver transplantation: Papering over the cracks of the organ shortage." Clinical Ethics 10.3 (2015): 83-89.
  3. Project Report submitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity (available on request)

Further Information

For more information about this research, please feel free to contact us:

Heather Draper – h dot draper at warwick dot ac dot uk+44 (0)2476 150347
Greg Moorlock – g dot moorlock at warwick dot ac dot uk +44 (0)2476 151592

This project was funded by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. Total value of project: £44,306.