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Advance statement of consent from patients with primary CNS tumours to organ donation and elective ventilation
  1. Umang Jash Patel
  1. Correspondence to Umang Jash Patel, Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK; ujashpatel{at}sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

A deficit in the number of organs available for transplantation persists even with an increase in donation rates. One possible choice of donor for organs that appears under-referred and/or unaccepted is patients with primary brain tumours. In spite of advances in the treatment of high-grade primary central nervous system (CNS) tumours, the prognosis remains dire. A working group on organs from donors with primary CNS tumours showed that the risk of transmission is small and outweighs the benefits of waiting for a normal donor, in survival and organ life-years, with caveats. This paper explores the possibility that, if information on organ donation were made available to patients and their families with knowledge of their inevitable fate, perhaps some will choose to donate. It would be explained that to achieve this, elective ventilation would be performed in their final moments. This would obviate the consent question because of an advance statement. It is accepted that these are sensitive matters and there will be logistic issues. This will need discussion with the public and other professionals, but it could increase the number of donors and can be extrapolated to encompass other primary CNS tumours.

  • Donation/Procurement of Organs/Tissues

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