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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Switzerland has a low post mortem organ donation rate. Here we examine variables that are associated with the consent of the deceased's next of kin (NOK) for organ donation, which is a prerequisite for donation in Switzerland. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: During one year, we registered information from NOK of all deceased patients in Swiss intensive care units, who were approached for consent to organ donation. We collected data on patient demographics, characteristics of NOK, factors related to the request process and to the clinical setting. We analyzed the association of collected predictors with consent rate using univariable logistic regression models; predictors with p-values <0.2 were selected for a multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 266 NOK approached for consent, consent was given in 137 (51.5%) cases. In multivariable analysis, we found associations of consent rates with Swiss nationality (OR 3.09, 95% CI: 1.46-6.54) and German language area (OR 0.31, 95% CI: 0.14-0.73). Consent rates tended to be higher if a parent was present during the request (OR 1.76, 95% CI: 0.93-3.33) and if the request was done before brain death was formally declared (OR 1.87, 95% CI: 0.90-3.87). CONCLUSION: Establishing an atmosphere of trust between the medical staff putting forward a request and the NOK, allowing sufficient time for the NOK to consider donation, and respecting personal values and cultural differences, could be of importance for increasing donation rates. Additional measures are needed to address the pronounced differences in consent rates between language regions.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Aged, Family, Female, Humans, Informed Consent, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Switzerland, Tissue and Organ Procurement