The purpose of a National Protocol for Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) is to outline an ethical process that respects the rights of the patient and ensures clinical consistency, effectiveness and safety for both donors and recipients.
This protocol provides a detailed framework for practice, which has a strong emphasis on communication and consistency and aspires to avoid any potential harm to patients, their families, recipients and the healthcare team. It seeks to be consistent in language and terminology with existing guidance on end-of-life care.
The National Protocol was developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), using a working party chaired by the Authority’s National Medical Director. The NHMRC formally approved the National Protocol on 2 July 2010.
In July 2010, the Authority assumed responsibility for national implementation of the National Protocol. The Authority will work collaboratively with the DonateLife Network, appropriate professional bodies, state and territory health departments, clinicians and the community to ensure successful implementation and application of DCD practices across Australia.
To learn more about the National Donation after Cardiac Death Protocol please see the Protocol and the Plain Language Statement and questions and answers.