Rates of organ donation are far below the need for organ transplantation,
and the percentage of families of donor-eligible patients that consent to
transplantation is low. To identify factors associated with the decision of
a family to donate or not to donate a family member's organs for transplantation,
Siminoff and colleagues conducted chart reviews and interviews with health
care practitioners, organ procurement organization (OPO) staff, and families
of 420 donor-eligible patients at 9 trauma hospitals between 1994 and 1999.
Many factors were associated with the donation decision, including sociodemographic
and attitudinal characteristics, prior knowledge of the patient's wishes,
conversations with the family about organ donation, contact with OPO staff,
and the quality of the request pattern.