Ethics of Organ Transplantation in Persons with Intellectual Disability

      Historically, individuals with intellectual disability and end-stage organ disease were discriminated against by transplant professionals and often excluded from transplantation waitlists. Despite antidiscrimination legislation, some transplant programs continue to include intellectual disability as a relative, if not an absolute, contraindication to listing for an organ; this is true for both pediatric and adult individuals in end-stage organ disease. This commentary opposes the absolute exclusion of patients with intellectual disability and end-stage organ disease from transplantation waitlists provided that the candidates are expected to gain a predefined minimum benefit threshold of life-years and quality-adjusted-life years. Intellectual disability is one of many factors that should be considered in determining transplant eligibility and each candidate should have an individualized interdisciplinary assessment.



      ADA (Americans with Disability Act), MCS (Minimally conscious state), PVS (Persistent vegetative state), QALYs (Quality-adjusted life years)
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