Almost all the literature on soliciting organs for donation cites the ever-expanding gap between supply and demand. Currently, 16 patients per day die while awaiting an organ for transplantation.11 Because this gloomy trend most likely will only get worse, and because the federal government is becoming more involved in efforts to reverse it, organ procurement organizations (OPOs) have become strident in their efforts to alter the only significant factor they can affect: the consent of families of possible organ donors.

Early research on organ donation described attitudes of health-care professionals22–,55 and the public at large66–,88 and issues associated with the ethics of the industry.99,1010 The investigation of attitudes of organ donors’ families came later1111,1212 but excluded information on the...

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