Caring for organ donors: The intensive care unit nurses' view
Qualitative Health Research, v. 10, n. 6, p. 788-805, 2000.
Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
The nursing care for patients who are pronounced brain-dead but kept alive to serve as organ donors demands technical-scientific skills and the ability to handle situations that are often in conflict with the traditional concepts of nursing care. Based on the phenomenological approach in this article, essential themes of the lived experience of caring for these patients, including the technical and specific nursing care, the relationship with organ donors and their families, and the nurses' perception of themselves in this professional situation are described. The results point to the contradictions and ambiguities of this type of nursing, especially in regards to the affective and philosophical aspects.