Organ donation in principle and in practice:tensions and healthcare professionals’ troubled consciences

Machin, Laura and Cooper, Jessie and Dixon, Heather and Wilkinson, Mark (2021) Organ donation in principle and in practice:tensions and healthcare professionals’ troubled consciences. BioSocieties. ISSN 1745-8552

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Abstract

The UK government and NHS Blood and Transplant have introduced a number of policies and organisational changes to the organ donation system following the 2008 recommendations of the Organ Donor Taskforce, which aim to increase the number of available donor organs and tackle transplant waiting lists. However, little is known about how these policy and organisational shifts influence how healthcare professionals experience delivering end of life care in the context of organ donation. In this paper, we examine ICU, Emergency Medicine, and Theatre staff’s experiences of organ donation in one NHS Trust following the 2008 changes. We focus upon their decision-making when caring for patients at the end of life to highlight the tensions between health professionals' beliefs-in-principle about organ donation and their everyday moral and commonsense practices when caring for patients at the end of life. We explore how we might understand and interpret this ‘troubling’ of organ donation through applying the concept of ‘conscience’, and consider whether a conscientious objection around organ donation could exist.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
BioSocieties
Additional Information:
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41292-020-00219-z
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3306
Subjects:
ID Code:
151012
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jan 2021 10:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
17 Feb 2021 09:15