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October 13, 2004

Ethics of Surrogate Consent for Living Organ Donation

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(14):1684-1685. doi:10.1001/jama.292.14.1684-c

To the Editor: I would like to comment on some of the objections to surrogate allowance of organ donation in patients with persistent or permanent vegetative state (PVS) in the article by Drs Wendler and Emanuel.1 I believe that the authors’ concerns about donation occurring before legal determination of death and about the selective donation of only nonvital organs ignores the possibility that surrogates can be educated about how intrinsic value, prognostic uncertainty, and societal need surround decision making in the donation of organs.

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