Why relatives refuse organ donation

Sque, M.R.G., Long, T. and Payne, S. (1970) Why relatives refuse organ donation. In, Initiating a European Platform - Organ Transplantation: Ethical, Legal and Psychological Aspects. Towards a Common European Policy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 01 - 04 Apr 2007.


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Organ donation refusal rates in the UK are
of concern (40% rising to 70% in nonwhite
groups). This presentation will discuss
a study, commissioned by UK Transplant,
which explored the end of life decision-
making and hospital experiences of
bereaved adults with whom organ and tissue
donation was discussed and who declined
donation. Twenty-six relatives of 23
deceased individuals, who chose not to donate
their deceased relative’s organs for
transplant operations, were recruited via
three staged media campaigns in large urban
areas of the UK, and from four NHS
Hospital Trust intensive care units. Data
were collected in 2005 via single face to
face or telephone interviews. A decision to
decline donation did not necessarily depend
on views held by the family, or the
deceased, in life, except if the deceased had
stated they did not wish to be an organ
donor. Therefore positive views held by the
family, and the wish of the deceased to be
a donor did not guarantee that donation
would take place. This finding suggests
that donation decisions depend, in part, on
a number of factors converging. Factors
such as: the family’s view about protecting
the body and keeping it intact; the timing
and manner of the donation discussion; a
lack of information about the donation
process; a desire not to prolong the perceived
suffering of the deceased; a need to
be with the dying and to witness the observable
ending of life represented by cessation
of the heartbeat. As protecting the
body was the most frequently recurring
theme underpinning a decision not to donate,
this theme will be discussed in relation
to its potential impact on the transplant

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (CPE)
ePrint ID: 45860
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 January 1970UNSPECIFIED
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:20
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/45860

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