Organ Donation: Addressing the Shortage of Registered Organ Donors

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recognizes the chronic and growing national shortage of donor organs to meet public demand and the disproportionate manner in which minorities may be affected. Family physicians and trainees are encouraged to expand their knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of organ donation, and the manner in which patient's cultural believes, fears, and preferences may pertain to organ donation.  Family physicians should have an open dialogue with their patients, especially those populations proportionally less represented as organ donors, and preferences should be document and maintainedin the patient's medical records and communicated with the patient's family.

The AAFP supports the study and implementation of systems that increase the available supply of viable organs, such as opt-out (presumed consent) programs, where donation occurs automatically unless a person specifically opts out; or by providing increased opportunities for opting-in, including mandated choice policies on governmental forms, such as voter registration, driver license renewal, or Medical/Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST/POLST).

(2000) (2016 September BOD)