The Ethics of Psychosocial Assessment in Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation:

A Call for Transparency of Process to Support the Equitable Selection of Patients

Laura L. Kimberly, Michelle W. McQuinn, Arthur L. Caplan, and Nomi C. Levy-Carrick,

Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 318-330.

As the field of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) continues to evolve and technological approaches improve, VCA programs must focus on promoting greater consistency in psychosocial assessment across programs to support the equitable selection of patients. Based on a summary of published reports of VCA, we address the ethical considerations raised by the present heterogeneity of approaches to psychosocial assessment, including weighing risks and benefits, informed consent and the role of decisional capacity, and potential or perceived bias in the assessment process. We propose transparency of process across the field and encourage VCA programs to work collaboratively to share approaches to psychosocial assessment both pre- and post-transplant to promote health equity.





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