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April 18, 2001

Attitudes and Practices in Postmortem Organ Procurement—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(15):1958-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.285.15.1958

In Reply: In our article, we called for a national discussion regarding whose wishes should determine whether cadaveric solid organs are procured. Ms Ramalingam and colleagues provide some of the data that will be needed to inform this discussion. Their data suggest that although most individuals believe the deceased's wishes should be determinative, they often have not discussed their own preferences with their families. Other studies have found similar results. Of particular interest is the finding that respondents were largely unaware of the fact that many OPOs ask family members for consent. Ms Gunderson points out that OPOs work hard to increase public awareness of their procurement practices. The data of Ramalingam and colleagues support such efforts.