This guideline covers identifying people who wish to donate their organs after their death. It offers advice on how to approach families and carers of people who are nearing the end of life and how to seek consent for organ donation. It aims to promote discussion of organ donation as part of end-of-life care and to increase the number of organs available for people waiting for a transplant.

In December 2016, a footnote on diagnosis of brain stem death in infants was added to recommendation 1.1.2. A footnote on the NHS Organ Donor Register was added to recommendation 1.1.9. An outdated research recommendation was removed.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Organ donors and their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in December 2016. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.

Next review: 2018

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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