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Do physicians on the critical care team discuss organ transplants?

Katrina Bramstedt, PhD
Health Education

It depends what country we are speaking about. In USA, the critical care team does not discuss organ donation with families unless the family brings up the topic. The family will be referred to the Organ Procurement Organization for detailed discussions about the suitability of the patient as a potential donor. In some countries, doctors within the hospital do discuss organ donation with families. This is a controversial topic. The guiding principle is that the treating team should not be involved in these discussions or decisions about donation. Neither should the transplant team. It is preferred that an independent party be involved in these discussions so that there is no perceived or actual bias in patient care. DCD donations (controlled donation after cardiac death) are complex and will involve networking of the medical team and the procurement team.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.