This article analyzes the ethical soundness of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in situations where the transplant team does not consider deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) a clinical or timely option. Given that patients with end-stage liver disease have a high risk of death without DDLT, the option of LDLT becomes compelling and may save lives. We present 3 representative cases from our center that raise concerns over social behavior, limited time constraints for decision making, and high potential for disease recurrence that render DDLT an unlikely option. Thereafter, we discuss ethical issues for each patient, which predominantly pertain to compromises to the living donor informed consent process and the feasibility of LDLT. We conclude with recommendations regarding whether LDLT is an acceptable ethical option for those patients, which may inform clinical practice in the broader transplant community.
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