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Ethical Issues in Transplantation and Organ Donation


This intensive one-day course is an opportunity for staff working in and supporting transplant services to develop a deeper understanding of the complex ethical issues surrounding deceased organ donation.

Course content

We will be taking a deeper dive into three central theoretical constructs that are found in ethical discussions about deceased organ donation: utilitarianism, respect for autonomy and altruism. We will be looking at the roles these play in justifying, facilitating and incentivising deceased organ donation. We will also be looking at the dead donor rule and recent challenges to this.

Why study this course?

Teaching will develop ethical reasoning skills, and sessions throughout the day will provide opportunities to enhance skills further with application to pertinent ethical issues. Participants will leave with a fuller understanding of key ethical issues in deceased organ donation and the way that ethical theories and argumentation can be used to address them.

Who is the course aimed at?

  • Practitioners who work directly in transplant services (CLODs, SNODs, surgeons)
  • Those whose clinical work supports this (anaesthetists, emergency department staff, intensivists)
  • Those who are involved in developing transplant- and donation-related policies

How will I learn?

All teaching will be delivered online over one day. This course is structured to give opportunities to develop and practice ethical reasoning skills. All sessions will therefore be highly interactive, with a mix of interactive lectures, small group work and workshops.

Schedule for the day

09.00 Group introductions

09.30 Understanding respect for autonomy

10.30 Understanding utilitarianism

11.30 Break

11.45 What is altruism?

12.30 Break

13.00 Respect for autonomy and deceased donation: workshop

14.30 Break

14.45 What is the significance of being dead?

15.30 Incentivising deceased donation: group discussion

16.30 Reflections on the day

17.00 Close

Key Facts


Eva Mussio / Claire Runaghan / Evon Conway

Tel: 02476 574263

Duration: One day

Location: Online

Dates: 27th June 2024

Course director: The course is taught by Dr Greg Moorlock and Professor Heather Draper, who are experienced teachers of ethics with specific expertise in the ethics of transplantation and organ donation.

Fees: £200

Registration: Please complete our online registration form.

Please note all of our short courses need a minimum of 15 registered participants in order to run.