Posted on September 13, 2007 at 2:20 PM
“I personally am very supportive of organ donation. But people I work with sometimes feel they are too pushy,” said Mary Henman, an intensive care nurse at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wis., stressing that she was not speaking on behalf of the hospital. “I think their enthusiasm for their ultimate goal kind of causes them to sometimes lose sight of the fact that the general public has some qualms about organ donation.”
At Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, Calif., neurologist Narges Pazouki said an OPO representative pressed her this summer to declare a patient brain-dead before the appropriate tests had been done.
“I told them, ‘It’s too soon for you to be involved. Let us do our job,’ ” Pazouki said.
In many hospitals, organ network representatives now routinely comb through patients’ records looking for potential donors.
“It’s like they’re vultures flying around the hospitals hovering over beds waiting for them to die so they can grab the organs,” said Michael Grodin, a Boston University bioethicist. “That’s the impression you get sometimes.”
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“The greatest fear the public has when it comes to organ donation is their loved one will not receive aggressive treatment and will wind up having their death hastened because of the zeal people have to get organs,” said Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. “You create a tremendous fear on the part of the public whenever any crossing of that line takes place.”