The death of a potential organ donor most commonly occurs in the intensive care unit (ICU). In most Western countries, family members must provide consent for deceased organ donation. Inability to obtain family consent is a significant barrier to organ donation, with international consent rates ranging from 13% to 73%. Data suggest that on receiving news of their loved one’s impending death, family members with denial-related emotional responses are more likely to refuse decedent organ donation. Few published studies have examined families’ emotional response during organ donation decision-making, and those studies have been qualitative and involve only participants who had provided consent to organ donation. These studies often are focused on the direct relationships between family member emotions and their decision to donate rather than examining situational factors that influence family members’ emotional responses. Understanding factors that influence their emotional reactions may inform...

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