a1 Assistant professor of Anestheslology/Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
a2 Professor of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
a3 Annenburg Professor of the Social Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
a4 Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Case Western Reserve University, and Director, Clinical Ethics Program, University Hospitals of Cleveland.
In 1991, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) implemented a policy that permitted the recovery of organs from cadavers pronounced dead using standardized cardiac criteria (Non-Heartbeating Cadavers or NHBC). This policy allowed families that had made a decision to forgo life sustaining treatment to then request organ donation. This entailed taking the patient to the operating room, discontinuing therapy (typically but not necessarily a ventilator), and after the patient is pronounced dead, procuring organs.