Ethics. Research. Community.

Giving back to donor families: the "thank you letter" package insert project.

Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Family members of organ donors receive anonymous information about the transplant recipients. Also, they often receive written communication from the recipients themselves and or the recipient's family members, expressing gratitude for the generous gifts they donated. The feedback received by donor families serves to affirm that their altruistic decision to donate life-saving and life-enhancing gifts has saved or dramatically improved the lives of the recipients. Feedback allows donor families to assign meaning to the donation itself and make some sense of otherwise tragic circumstances. In contrast, family members of bone and soft tissue donors historically have not received the same level of feedback provided to the family members of organ donors. The tissue banking community, as an extension of the procurement community that provides care to tissue donor families, is in a unique position to facilitate meaningful feedback between bone and soft tissue donor families and their recipients. This article explores the use of tissue packaging as a communication portal to solicit and facilitate the needed feedback loop between bone and soft tissue donor families and their recipients.
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