Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Proposal to support making decisions about the organ donation process
  1. Greg Moorlock,
  2. Heather Draper
  1. Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Greg Moorlock, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; g.moorlock{at}


In this paper, we propose a novel approach to permit members of the public opportunity to record more nuanced wishes in relation to organ donation. Recent developments in organ donation and procurement have made the associated processes potentially more multistaged and complex than ever. At the same time, opt-out legislation has led to a more simplistic recording of wishes than ever. We argue that in order to be confident that a patient would really wish to go ahead with the various interventions and procedures that now accompany organ donation, more nuanced information than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ may be required. This is of particular importance for donation after circulatory death, where some interventions to facilitate donation occur when the patient is still alive. We propose the implementation of an online form to allow people to record more nuanced wishes in relation to donation, including an indication of competing wishes and how these should be weighed into decision-making. We argue that this approach will promote autonomous decision-making for the public, potentially reduce difficulties that family members encounter at the time of organ donation, and should make medical staff more confident that they are truly acting according to the wishes and best interests of their patients.

  • autonomy
  • transplantation
  • tissue and organ procurement
  • decision making
  • informed consent

Data availability statement

No data are available.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors GM and HD contributed equally to this manuscript. GM acts as guarantor for its content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Other content recommended for you