At the moment, there are thousands of names on the waiting transplant list in the U.K. However, there are few citizens who take the necessary measures to be registered as organ donors.
A new report found that even though people announce authorities of their decision, their relatives might not allow doctors to extract their organs. Around 505 transplants were canceled in the last five years at the pressure of the deceased’s family.
Hospital Practice Allows the Family to Override the Status of Organ Donors
The National Health Service assessed that 457 English patients lost their lives in 2016 as they were too low down on the waiting list for a transplant. In the same year, 1,413 deceased were registered as potential donors. However, 91 of them didn’t help those in need for a healthy organ as their families denied the procedures.
However, the reason for these rejections seems to have nothing to do with religious believes in some cases. Instead, relatives were under the impression that the process would take too much time. The law allows doctors to respect the deceased’s choice to sign the Organ Donation Register. However, in practice professionals are respecting the decision of the family.
The staff at the NHS Blood and Transplant department contact families whenever hospitals report a dying prospective donor. Nurses check out the information with the Health Resources & Services Administration. Afterward, they encourage family members to grant the wish of their deceased. However, if they don’t consent, no hospital would go through with the transplant operation.
Family’s Influence in This Matter Is Controversial
The views regarding these missed opportunities are diverse among specialists. On the one hand, some look at these rejections as frustrating. These situations stand in the way of hundreds of potentially lifesaving transplants.
On the other hand, other specialists in the field believe a sense of empathy should be in place at these moments. Families are going through a shock when they learn of their loss. Seeing their loved ones as organ donors against their wish could only deepen their grief.
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