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EVALUATION OF REASONS FOR NOT GIVING DONOR CONSENT BY FAMILIES OF PATIENTS WITH BRAIN DEATH: A RETROSPECTIVE, MIXED-METHOD STUDY

ZUHAL GULSOY, ICLAL OZDEMİR KOL, GULAY YİLDİRİM

Experimental and Clinical Transplantation - 2024;22(1):63-70

Sivas Cumhuriyet University Application and Research Hospital, Anesthesia Intensive Care Unit, Sivas, Turkey

 

Objectives: The number of patients with organ failure is increasing day by day; today, the numbers of organs and tissues for transplant remain inadequate. This study, which was carried out in a hospital of Sivas Cumhuriyet University in Turkey, aimed to determine reasons for not giving consent for organ donation after brain death and to clarify the familial causes listed among these reasons. Materials and Methods: This study was a retrospective, mixed-method study. Records of patients diagnosed with brain death and patient relatives who stated that they did not donate organs and who agreed to participate were included in the study. Results: Of 48 patients diagnosed with brain death, 39 (81.3%) did not donate organs. Reasons for not donating could be grouped under 5 themes: distrust (communication defects, frustration, anger, not meeting expectations), thoughts that the procedure would not provide benefits, fear (not accepting death, not understanding brain death, and experiencing loss), unwillingness to impair body integrity, and phobia of social reactions. Conclusions: We found that some patient relatives who were not against and even supported organ donation decided not to donate organs at the last minute. Reasons for not giving donation consent included distrust, anger, and frustration resulting from communication problems with health professionals, making the candidate donor feel valueless, previous bad experiences and prejudgments about the institution, and not providing the appropriate physical conditions related to the comfort of the patient relative during the process. It is important to keep in mind that the organ donation process begins with the patient’s admission to the hospital; if managed correctly, the process can affect the decision of relatives in a positive way. Identifying and preventing potential obstacles that could affect decisions may increase donation rates. Health professionals with special training on this subject are needed for these situations.