J Korean Soc Transplant.  2011 Mar;25(1):1-7. 10.4285/jkstn.2011.25.1.1.

Optimal System for Deceased Organ Donation and Procurement in Korea

  • 1Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jwhamd@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Surgery, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Transplant Research Institute, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Since the first deceased donor kidney transplantation in 1979, continuous efforts have been made to increase deceased organ donation in Korea. However, a critical shortage of human organs for transplant is still a serious problem and is partly caused by the absence of a system to actively identify and properly manage deceased donors in Korea. Considering this, Korea needs to create a new national system for deceased donor identification, management, and organ procurement. There are three kinds of organ procurement systems in the world: The "Spanish model", the "United States model", and the "other European model". We reviewed each system and suggested the optimal organ procurement system for Korea. We also proposed requirements for operating an organ procurement organization and increasing deceased organ donation. Further improvements in the organ procurement system will contribute to improve the current organ shortage.


Brain death; Tissue and organ procurement; Spain; United States

MeSH Terms

Brain Death
Kidney Transplantation
Tissue and Organ Procurement
Tissue Donors
United States
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