Organ Donor Register To Be Investigated

Should Swedish nurses be able to check whether a terminally ill patient wants to donate his or her organs before they die? That’s a question which the Swedish Organ Donation Council is about to look into.

At the moment it is illegal to look into the register before the patient has passed away, mainly so that relatives can be sure that everything is being done to help the patient without the fear that medical staff are just trying to save valuable organs for later donation. But by waiting until the patient has died sometimes means that the organs deteriorate in the time it takes between switching the ventilator off and checking the register, making them unsuitable for donation. But doctors are split over the issue, while some say the top priority should be to enable organ donation, others fear a law change could cause unnecessary distress for relatives at a very sensitive time.

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