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Improving family consent in organ donation could save lives
Date:12/21/2011

Research published today in the British Journal of Anaesthesia suggests that organ donation rates in the UK could be increased if the current issues affecting declined consent are improved. At present, only 30% of the UK population are registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR). From 2003 to 2005, the overall consent rate for donation after brain death (DBD) was 59%. This figure remains largely unchanged with a consent rate of 63% for DBD in 2007-2009. The low consent rate for organ donation in the UK is the largest factor limiting actual organ donor.

Currently, organ donation consent is established by views expressed prospectively via membership of the ODR or views expressed to a family member. However, when a patient is deceased and has not previously expressed a wish to their relatives about organ donation the health care professional will discuss donation with the family. Up to 10% of families of potential donors, who are on the ODR, still refuse assent to donation. At present, it is accepted practice to respect the family's wishes despite the existence of valid legal consent.

The paper 'Consent for Organ Donation' by Vincent and Logan, published in a special issue regarding organ donation for the British Journal of Anaesthesia, calls for action on the concerns and issues that affect consent.

Make Your Donation Wishes Known:

Findings have consistently shown that only 50% of those that wish to donate after death have discussed this with a family member. It is extremely important that donors discuss their wishes with their close relative because ultimately it is the family which authorizes organ donation. Research has found that family discussion strongly predicts consent for donation from family members.

Recent research has examined the negative attitudes felt in joining the ODR and suggests that these may be the most important barriers to address. These include a level of disgust
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Contact: Gabby Fletcher
gabby.fletcher@oup.com
01-865-353-969
Oxford University Press
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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