A Swedish survey of young people's views on organ donation and transplantation

Margareta A Sanner
Transplant International 2002, 15 (12): 641-8
The aim of this study is to explore young people's attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge on organ donation and transplantation. A survey was conducted among 1,447 students aged 15-18 years in four urban areas in Sweden. Although students looked upon organ transplantation favorably, only 50% were willing to donate their own organs, and only 20% the organs of their parents. Concerning organ donation, 75% of the students expressed some discomfort. There were significant gender differences. About 70% of the students indicated that transplantation issues should be included in the school curriculum. It is concluded that teenagers feel irresolution and discomfort regarding organ donation after death, but concurrently see organ transplantation as a highly valued service. One way that this mental conflict can be resolved is through education. Educational programs in school must address this ambivalence and both mediate facts and help students to work through the fear and discomfort associated with organ donation.

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