Practical Considerations in Donation After Circulatory Determination of Death in Switzerland

Anne L. Dalle Ave*, David M. Shaw, Bernice Elger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Faced with similar issues of organ scarcity to its neighbors, Switzerland has developed donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD) as a way to expand the organ pool since 1985. Here, we analyze the history, practical considerations, and ethical issues relating to the Swiss donation after circulatory death programs. In Switzerland, determination of death for DCDD requires a stand-off period of 10 minutes. This time between cardiac arrest and the declaration of death is mandated in the guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. As in other DCDD programs, safeguards are put to avoid physicians denying lifesaving treatment to savable patients because of being influenced by receivers' interest. An additional recommendation could be made: Recipients should be transparently informed of the worse graft outcomes with DCDD programs and given the possibility to refuse such organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • donation after circulatory determination of death
  • Switzerland
  • ethical issues

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