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Burden of organ donation after euthanasia in patients with psychiatric disorder

Abstract

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
  • Psychiatry
  • End of life decisions (palliative care)
  • Intensive care
  • Ethics

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