January 12, 2015
Non-Brain Death Organ Donation
By Nancy Valko, RN ALNC
Would you sign an organ donor card if you knew that you didn’t necessarily have to be diagnosed as “brain dead” before your organs were removed? Would you sign an organ donor card if you knew that the card would override your family if they objected?
These scenarios might sound far-fetched but they are very real today even though unknown to most people. The understandable zeal to obtain organs and tissues for transplantation has gone much farther than most people realize when they agree to future organ donation.
The current non-brain death organ donation policy started with ethics journal articles in the mid-1990s when it was called “non-heart beating donation” and promoted as a way to increase the supply of organs to transplant beyond the “brain death” organ donations. This was accomplished by linking organ donation with…
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