Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters NICE on organ donation

Wills and wishes in organ donation

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 21 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1232
  1. Patrick L Tapley, specialist trainee year 3, critical care1,
  2. Peter J McQuillan, consultant, critical care1
  1. 1Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Portsmouth PO6 3LY, UK
  1. paddytap{at}

Families have difficulty accepting organ donation.1 Despite the patient’s wishes being pre-eminent, the family’s reluctance to agree carries an effective veto. Carers of dying patients and the transplantation service tread carefully, proceeding only with agreement and consensus, not in the face of opposition and resentment. An opt-out system, whereby organs are harvested …

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