JOURNAL ARTICLE

Life and death decisions: using school-based health education to facilitate family discussion about organ and tissue donation

Deborah P Waldrop, Judith A Tamburlin, Sanna J Thompson, Mark Simon
Death Studies 2004, 28 (7): 643-57
15346607
Public education that encourages family discussions about organ and tissue donation can enhance understanding, facilitate a donor's wishes and increase the numbers of donations. Action research methods were used to explore the impact of a student-initiated family discussion about donation. Most discussions were positive; only 7% middle school and 4% high school participants described them as "terrible." "Getting it started" was the most difficult. High school students felt "very" or "somewhat" prepared, whereas middle school students only felt "somewhat prepared". Guided family discussions ensure that families have accurate information about donation and an opportunity to talk about end-of-life choices in a non-crisis situation.

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