The authors carried out a review of 20 studies on organ donation to investigate what factors either encouraged or discouraged relatives to consent.
Two issues had the strongest effect on relatives: timing and the person making the request.
They say it is essential that a request for organ donation does not take place when notification of death is communicated to relatives or when brain stem death testing takes place – it is very important that there is a gap between ‘bad news’ and a request for donation.
The person making the request is also key and the study concludes that in an ideal situation a donor transplant coordinator together with hospital staff would make the request.
In the UK demand for organs exceeds supply and one person dies daily on the transplant waiting list.
- Should organ donor arrangements be standardised?
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