Attitudes of medical students about brain death and organ donation

K Najafizadeh, M Shiemorteza, M Jamali, F Ghorbani, S Hamidinia, S Assari, S Assan, M Moghani-Lankarani
Transplantation Proceedings 2009, 41 (7): 2707-10

INTRODUCTION: There have been publications on the attitudes of the general Iranian population and health care personnel about brain death and organ donation; however, there is little information about such attitudes of medical students. In 2006, a survey was conducted in Tehran about the attitudes of medical students in a hospital with a transplantation program.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The general population, health care personnel, and medical students were surveyed, and data were extracted from interviews with 41 medical students. The survey included 35 items about attitudes toward brain death and organ transplantation.

RESULTS: Nine students (22.0%) had ever seen a transplant recipient, and 7 (17.1%) had ever seen a brain-dead patient. Thirty-four students (82.9%) agreed with organ donation after brain death. Six students (14.6%) had received information through university lectures, and 40 (97.5%) perceived a need for further information about organ donation and brain death in the university curriculum. Nine students (22.0%) had an organ donor card.

CONCLUSION: Most Iranian medical students have neither been exposed to brain death or organ recipients nor received appropriate information about organ donation and transplantation.

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