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January 20, 1989

Organ Procurement

JAMA. 1989;261(3):380-381. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420030054020

To the Editor.—  We certainly agree with Dr Prottas1 that the mechanisms for identifying potential organ donors and discussing the prospects of donation with the next of kin should be streamlined,1 but disagree that the problem limiting organ donation is necessarily one of cooperation from medical professionals.2 Our medical center is a regional trauma facility servicing both rural and urban populations in central and Southeastern Ohio. We have an aggressive organ donation policy and protocol that rapidly identifies potential vital organ donors (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and pancreas) and allows for initial family contact with a team consisting of an intensive care nurse, physician, and social worker or chaplain. All families are subsequently referred to organ procurement personnel for further counseling. Despite this, the number of potential donors is relatively small, and we have not seen the optimistic family response quoted by others1,2 in consenting to