• ISSN: 2155-7993
  • Journal of Modern Education Review

Breaking Bad News: From Brain Death to Organ Donation
— A Case Report

Isabela Castelli
(Universidade de Brasília, Brazil)

Abstract: Organ transplantation is a treatment modality that consists in the replacement of a diseased organ by a healthy one. Organ donation is historically linked to the attempt to preserve life. One of the greatest difficulties in dealing with the death subject is precisely related to healthcare contexts: the scientific advances in healthcare are associated with an increase in life expectancy and the idea of a possible gradual deferral of death. Part of the transplantation process is a Brain Death (BD) diagnosis, which is necessary for organ donation. J. was an ICU inpatient who, after a few days of hospitalization, ended up evolving to a DB diagnosis. The patient’s family members were accompanied daily by a physician and by the psychologist, who facilitated communication processes, performing punctual interventions. When asked, the family accepted to donate the patient’s organs. It is noteworthy that death, despite being a constituent of human nature, devastatingly affects family members. The importance of communicative processes is perceived not only at the time of death communication, but throughout the patient’s hospitalization period. In the case presented, the bound established between family-psychologist was primordial for the acceptance of organ donation.
Key words: breaking bad news, brain death, organ donation, transplantation

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