Organ donation needs better communication

The shortage of organ donors could be solved if medical staff learnt how to communicate better with the relatives of the deceased, the chairman of the medical ethics commission told Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

According to Rik Gerritsen, if conversations about organ donorship were improved by just 10%, the shortage of donor hearts would be virtually solved.
Training doctors in how to ask families to donate their loved ones’ organs would also help with the problem of patients going abroad for transplants.
Eurotransplant in Leiden, which coordinates international transplants, is in talks with the Belgian government about the number of Dutch patients travelling to Belgium for a donor organ.
In 2009, 18 Belgian heart patients died while on the waiting list, while three donor hearts went to Dutch patients, reports the Volkskrant.
Belgium has an opt-out system for organ donation and would like the Netherlands to introduce a similar system.

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