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Families who previously refused organ donation would agree to donate in a new situation: a cross-sectional study

M Morais, R C M A da Silva, W J Duca, J L Rol, H C C de Felicio, P C Arroyo-, M C O S Miyazaki, N A M Domingos, N I Valerio, M Abbud-Filho, J F P de Oliveira, R F da Silva
Transplantation Proceedings 2012, 44 (8): 2268-71
23026570

BACKGROUND: The limited supply of organs restricts the number of transplantations. Studying the families who refuse donation may help to increase the number of transplantations.

METHODS: This descriptive cross-sectional study used a questionnaire to obtain information from 61 family members who had refused to donate organs from January 1997 to December 2004. The exclusion criterion was donor death less than 1 year from the study. The mean age of subjects was 41 ± 12.7 years (range, 18 to 79 years) with 66% women.

RESULTS: More than half (36 of 69; 52%) of the families who refused donation would agree to donate in a new situation. The primary reasons for refusing donation were: disagreement among family members (25 of 128; 19%), lack of knowledge regarding the deceased's wishes (22 of 128; 17%), and previous request from the deceased not to be a donor (17 of 128; 13%). The most frequent suggestions to increase organ donation were to provide families with more information (43 of 149; 29%), initiate contact among the families (36 of 149; 24%), and involve a trusted physician (30 of 149; 20%).

CONCLUSION: Most family members who refused organ donation changed their minds and would agree to donate in a few situation. Most of the reasons for refusing to donate reflected a lack of information and discussion on the topic.

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