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Appunti di storia e di etica del consenso informato per la donazione di organi e tessuti da cadavere allo scopo di trapianto

Carlo Petrini, Michele Farisco



[History and ethics of informed consent for organs and tissues donation from cadavers for transplantation]

This is an overview on the main Italian laws about the consent for post mortem organ donation. In 1957 a law established that organ donation could happen only if  the subject had made his/her consent clear. In 1975 the presumed consent became a law, but relatives were allowed to present written opposition. Finally in 1999 silence as informed assent was asserted, that is to say that local health service had to notify to the citizens the request about the declaration on their will regard to organ donation. After that, they have to declare their choice: in case of lack of declarations, their will is considered in favour of donation. The problem is that the planned computerised registry office was never set up, thus preventing to be certain that the citizen has been informed, and making “silence as assent” principle inapplicable.

Parole chiave

Transplantation; Organ donation; Silence as assent; Donor

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