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

This project aims to complete 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 not as good as if he/she had received a whole liver. 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. Views of liver transplant staff and liver patients will be obtained using qualitative interviews and a questionnaire survey, and will be used to inform a philosophical analysis of split liver transplantation.

Copies of the questionnaire and the results of the project will be posted here as they become available. Please visit the site again for more information.

The PI for this project is Professor Heather Draper (Medicine, Ethics, Society and History), in collaboration with Professor James Neuberger (Associate Medical Director, NHS Blood and Transplant) and Mr Simon Bramhall (Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon, Liver Unit, QE Hospital, Birmingham) as CIs. Greg Moorlock (who undertook a PhD within MESH on conditional organ donation) is the project’s Research Fellow.

For more information, please feel free to contact us:

Heather Draper – +44 (0)121 414 6941
Greg Moorlock – +44 (0)121 414 8546

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