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Relatives who decline organ donations face conflict and guilt
Date:1/17/2008

p>Some also expressed concern that if organs were donated, and then found to be unsuitable, the whole process would have been unnecessary. Others felt their relative should be left in peace.

Other factors included:

  • Circumstances at the time of death - people needed time to come to terms with the death of their relative, especially if their death was sudden or their body looked normal.

  • Lack of knowledge - some people said they did not have enough information about what organ donation involved.

  • The donation discussion - issues were raised around the timing and sensitivity of discussions between relatives and healthcare professionals.

  • Witnessing the observable ending of life - some people said they needed to be present when their relatives heartbeat stopped. That could not always happen if their relative was a donor.

Many family members who talked to us said they felt guilty and selfish about their decision not to donate, particularly if their relative had said they wanted to be a donor, says Dr Sque. They were also relieved to discover they were not the only ones who had declined donation.

One even said that seeing our newspaper advertisement for the study made her feel less guilty because she realised that she wasnt alone in her decision.

Most countries that support organ donation have high refusal rates and we hope that this study will provide some insight into why people dont allow donations to go ahead.

The researchers conclude that rather than seeing donation as a gift of life many relatives see it as a sacrifice that in allowing the donation to take place they are sacrificing their relatives intact body for an operation that might not benefit anyone.

Describing donation as a gift of life is over-simplistic and does not reflect the depth and complexity of the process, says Dr Sque.

Healthcare professionals nee
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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