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The author David Shaw says that this can put doctors in a difficult situation because their is not legal right for the family to overrule the wishes of their deceased relative, but broaching the subject and being persistent may cause further distress during a difficult time. He claims that whilst the family may not want to initially allow for their relative's organs to be donated, in time they may live to regret their decision to overrule their relative's last wishes and also potentially prevent others from receiving organs they are in much need of.
Shaw says that "doctors are professionals with obligations to respect the wishes of the dead patient and to promote the health of the public. Giving in to the family is unprofessional and lets down the patient and potential recipients of the patients’ organs elsewhere. A doctor might argue that this family is right here in front of him, but that is simply to admit his error: it is the moral distance from those he will be complicit in bereaving (and to some extent from the dead patient) that makes it tempting to respect the veto. The family’s proximity increases the stress on the doctor, but does not change the ethics of the situation. Although we should treat the family compassionately, doctors do not have the same duty to the family as to dying patients or other patients who need organs.
Clinicians in this position should conduct a thought experiment. As well as the family that is there in front of them, they should also imagine confronting the families of those who will die as a consequence of not receiving the donor’s organs."
Have you ever been in a position where the relatives wanted to veto their deceased relatives' wishes to donate organs? How did you manage to persuade them?http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e5275