Author Affiliations: Department of Clinical Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa,
MD, Executive Deputy Editor.
Individuals often decline to sign organ donor cards out of fear that
their organs will be procured prematurely.1 To
reassure these individuals, procurement policy in the United States allows
adults' organs to be procured only after their deaths or, in the case of nonvital
organs, with their consent.2- 5 Despite
these limitations on the procurement of adults' organs, many individuals still
decline to become organ donors. As a result, US waiting lists for solid organs
have grown to more than 80 000 people.6
Wendler D, Emanuel E. Assessing the Ethical and Practical Wisdom of Surrogate Consent for Living Organ Donation. JAMA. 2004;291(6):732-735. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.732