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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Differences in willingness to donate cadaveric organ between young donor families and adult donor families: evidence from the Hunan Province, China

Wen-zhao Xie, Qi-fa Ye, Wei Liu, Ming-jie Shao, Qi-quan Wan, Cui-ying Li, Ai-jing Luo
Chinese Medical Journal 2013, 126 (15): 2830-3
23924451

BACKGROUND: The Red Cross of China and Ministry of Health jointly started a pilot program of organ donation after cardiac death to overcome the shortage of available organs since 2010. The purpose of this qualitative study were to compare the consent rate of organ donation between young donor families and adult donor families; to explore and determine factors associated with differences in willingness to donate organs between them. Research objective was to provide a rationale for further preparation of professionals involved in this sensitive work.

METHODS: Between March 2010 and June 2012, 24 young deceased patients including donors and non-donors and 96 potential adult donors were collected, and consent rates of young donors' families and adult donors' families were calculated. A χ(2) test analysis to compare the consent rates of the two groups was conducted. We studied through semistructured interviews 15 parents of young donors and 15 relatives of old donors who were interviewed for petition of consent. Data collection and analysis of the overall study were performed according to the grounded theory methodology. Factors that influenced the families' decisions were identified and classified. We found the differences in willingness to donate organs between the two groups.

RESULTS: The consent rate of young donor families was 66.67%, while the consent rate of adult donor families was 26.04%. Young donor families easily consented to organ donation than adult donor families (P < 0.005). The donors' families had been affected by various factors throughout the process of deciding to give consent for donation. The findings led to the formulation of an empirically based model of interlinking categories that influence families' decision-making process in organ donation. These factors are grouped into five main categories: (1) personal factors, (2) conditions of organ request, (3) interpersonal factors, (4) ethical factors, and (5) traditional views. The funeral tradition influenced the young donor parents' consent to donation, but had no relation with family decision of adult donors. And the family members of young donors are relatively less, who are more likely to reach a consensus.

CONCLUSIONS: Young donor families influenced by traditional funeral beliefs are easier to consent to organ donation than adult donor families. Family members of young donors are relatively less who are more likely to reach a consensus. Acceptance of the expanded criteria donors may improve the organ donation rates, especially those of the advanced age.

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