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February 11, 2004

Assessing the Ethical and Practical Wisdom of Surrogate Consent for Living Organ Donation

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Clinical Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(6):732-735. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.732

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