Precisely regulate organ donation in living will

Precisely regulate organ donation in living will

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Living will and organ donation card should match

After the living will was legally enshrined in Germany five years ago, numerous people have written it. However, it is often overlooked that care should be taken to ensure that the disposition should also match any organ donation card that may be available.

In the document, the patient determines his desire for treatment. Even if years of intensive social and parliamentary discussions for the legal anchoring five years ago were required, it is now clear that living wills are important. With such a patient can express his will, even if he is no longer able to do so due to acute injury or illness, as the Berlin Chamber of Notaries said, according to a message from the dpa news agency. This document can determine which treatment the patient desires and which not. In addition, the patient appoints a confidant to represent them to doctors.

Affected people often reject life-prolonging measures At their disposal, many affected people reject life-prolonging, intensive care measures. However, if the patient is also an organ donor at the same time, this can lead to a conflict, since organs for transplantation may only be removed after proven brain death. However, the organ donor's vital functions must be artificially maintained until it is removed to prevent the organs from dying and to maintain their ability to transplant.

Doctors must follow the confidant's instructions If this is the case, the confidant must instruct the physician to follow the advance directive. The willingness to donate organs higher than the treatment requests laid down in the living will is not permitted. The treating doctors are obliged to follow the instructions of the confidant. Those affected should therefore prepare their living will so that their willingness to donate organs is taken into account, so that confidants and doctors do not have to make their decisions before this legal dilemma.

Clear regulation would be important. A clear regulation is important, which allows doctors to maintain vital functions for a short time until organ removal, if the patient is considered an organ donor. This problem is not new, it only shows that unfortunately no further binding requirements have been set for years. As early as 2012, the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO) had drawn attention to the fact that those who opted for organ donation after death should note that "the information in the organ donation card does not conflict with that in the living will, such as the reference to the waiver life support measures. "(ad)

Picture: Günther Richter /

Author and source information

Video: Giving the Gift of Life through Organ Donation: Chris Barry at TEDxFlourCity


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