Ethical guidelines for cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation

Closes 15 Mar 2024

Opened 15 Jan 2024

Overview

The Ethical guidelines for cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation have been developed by NHMRC in collaboration with the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA). The document draws on five existing NHMRC guidelines (see below), combined with additional material, to create a single, comprehensive set of ethical guidelines that can be applied broadly across all aspects of cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation.

These guidelines provide donors, transplant recipients, their families, clinicians and donation and transplant professionals with clear and current guidance.

The guidelines include both high-level ethical principles and specific guidelines for ethical practice related to cell, tissue and organ donation and transplantation from living and deceased donors. The document aims to provide guidance on a broad range of complex intersecting issues.

The document is a set of ethical guidelines and does not seek to provide advice on technical matters relating to clinical practice. However, it is noted that there is substantial background information on donation and transplantation and discussion of some clinical and procedural issues in the document.

For any questions related to the public consultation process, please direct your query to the NHMRC Ethics and Integrity section at ethics@nhmrc.gov.au.

Note:

In 2017, NHMRC initiated a review of five related guidelines (available on the NHMRC website):  

  • Organ and tissue donation after death, for transplantation – Guidelines for ethical practice for health professionals, 2007 
  • Making a decision about organ and tissue donation after death, 2007
  • Organ and tissue donation by living donors – Guidelines for ethical practice for health professionals, 2007
  • Making a decision about living organ and tissue donation, 2007 
  • Ethical guidelines for organ transplantation from deceased donors, 2016.

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Audiences

  • General public
  • Families
  • Carers and guardians
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • State government agencies
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • Non-government organisations
  • Community groups

Interests

  • Human ethics