ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Training cadaver dogs

April 2004 
Volume 34  Number 4
Pages 28 - 28
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  • Figure. No caption a...

    As an OR charge nurse, I handle a lot of ethical issues, but what happened yesterday took me completely off guard. A patient was undergoing amputation of his forearm after it had been mangled in a lawn mower accident. I was asked to wrap and store the amputated limb until a representative from the state's Search and Rescue Training Program could pick it up. The organization uses human body parts to train cadaver dogs to search for bodies .

    I didn't know what to say or do and neither did the surgeon, so we just stored the limb as requested. Should we have gotten the patient's permission? Do we need to work through our local organ procurement agency ?—R.P., NEB.

    This situation doesn't involve donation for transplantation or research purposes, so contacting your local organ procurement agency isn't appropriate.

    Figure. No caption available. Your hospital should have a policy regarding ...

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