Pre-mortem interventions for donation after circulatory death and overall benefit: A qualitative study

Clinical Ethics 11 (4):149-158 (2016)
Abstract
This article explores how the type of consent given for organ donation should affect the judgement of a patient's overall benefit with regards to donation of their organs and the pre-mortem interventions required to facilitate this. The findings of a qualitative study of the views of 10 healthcare professionals, combined with a philosophical analysis inform the conclusion that how consent to organ donation is given is a reliable indicator only of the strength of evidence about views on donation and subsequent willingness to undergo pre-mortem interventions. It is not an indicator of the strength of actual desire to donate. Clinical management of living patients prior to donation after circulatory death must therefore respect the values, wishes and beliefs of the potential donation after circulatory death donor. Our participants, however, suggested that the information currently provided is sufficient to authorise donation and that this consent, however provided, was sufficient to proceed with pre-mortem interventions. Respect for autonomy underpinned this ‘all or nothing’ approach. Although the legal requirements for donation authorisation and the protection of patients without capacity are clear, practice and policy regarding consent in donation after circulatory death may be based on donation following brainstem death where the patient is already dead when the family is approached. Custom and practice in donation after circulatory death may need to be revised to protect the interests of the dying potential donor.
Keywords Organ donation and procurement   consent
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DOI 10.1177/1477750916657658
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References found in this work BETA

Using Informed Consent to Save Trust.Nir Eyal - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (7):437-444.
Organ Procurement: Dead Interests, Living Needs.J. Harris - 2003 - Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (3):130-134.
Death, Us and Our Bodies: Personal Reflections.J. Savulescu - 2003 - Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (3):127-130.

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