Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The articles by Dr Wendler and Mr Dickert1 and by Mr Capron2 about organ procurement and transplantation addressed whether the decision to procure organs should be left to the previously expressed wishes of the deceased or to the next of kin. This issue seems rather straightforward given that laws in almost every state have made donor cards and organ donor statements on driver's licenses legally binding documents.3 Nonetheless, the study by Wendler and Dickert shows that although these documents are legally binding, physicians and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) often ask for family consent despite a signed organ donor card or driver's license.
Ramalingam ND, Gordon EJ, Ross L. Attitudes and Practices in Postmortem Organ Procurement. JAMA. 2001;285(15):1958-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.285.15.1958