Organ donation after euthanasia (ODE) is rarely performed but the number has gradually increased over the years. It has been suggested that the preparatory investigations for organ donation parallel to the medical-legal procedures for euthanasia may be too much of a burden for the patients and their relatives. Furthermore, dying in an intensive care unit might contribute to this burden. Based on two patients who were granted euthanasia based on a psychiatric disorder, we show that the actual burden may be minimal for some patients and their relatives and may even be helpful in their process of euthanasia. Therefore, we propose that providing patients with information about donation of organs after euthanasia may be important to incorporate early in the medical-legal process of euthanasia instead of waiting for the patient to bring up organ donation, as currently advised in the Dutch guideline for ODE.
- Psychiatry of old age
- End of life decisions (palliative care)
- Intensive care
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Contributors GM wrote the first draft of the manuscript, contributed to analyses and interpretation of the interviews, was responsible for the first literature search and contributed to the final draft. ROV interviewed the patient and the relatives, contributed to interpretation of the interviews, commented on the drafts of the manuscript and contributed to the final draft. JB contributed to interpretation of the interviews, contributed to the literature search, commented on the following drafts and contributed to the final draft. RM interviewed the patient and the relatives, was responsible for the planning, contributed to interpretation of the interviews, commented on the drafts of the manuscript and contributed to the final draft. He is responsible for the overall content as guarantor. The guarantor accepts full responsibility for the finished work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.