Ethical issues in access, listing and regulation of pediatric heart transplantation

David W. Bearl


Organ scarcity often drives ethical discussion in pediatric heart transplantation. There are questions about autonomy and equity in the referral patterns. There are questions about beneficence in how referral centers are established and operate. There are questions about fairness in how patients are listed and evaluated for listing exceptions. Finally, there are questions about beneficence, maleficence, and justice when it comes to the regulatory oversight of transplantation. This review will serve as a brief review of some of the more pressing ethical matters in pediatric heart transplantation and, where possible, offer potential solutions.