NYC will prep possible organ donors prior to consent

Here's a program bound to raise some hackles, despite the potential for helping patients waiting for donor organs. New York City has announced plans to dispatch the country's first ambulance designed to preserve the newly dead so that families have time to consider organ donations. What makes it controversial is that the crews would perform preservation procedures on the corpse without consent, just enough to keep it viable, until the family decided whether or not to give consent for organ removal/donation. The team wouldn't take any organs unless that consent was given.

The Rapid Organ Recovery Ambulance program, which has federal funding, was actually created because of complaints from families who were angry that the loved one couldn't donate as per his or her wishes, because they died outside of a hospital. In fact, about 22,000 people a year die from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and aren't considered for organ donation. Emergency departments and transplant teams across the country are watching carefully to see how this scheme works out.

To learn more about the program (including what procedures are performed by the organ recovery team):

- read this USA Today article

Related Articles:
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U of Pittsburgh tries ED donor organ program
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