Factors of the willingness to consent to the donation of a deceased family member's organs among the Romanian urban population

A Holman, A Karner-Huţuleac, B Ioan
Transplantation Proceedings 2013, 45 (9): 3178-82

OBJECTIVES: Romania ranks near the bottom of the European hierarchy of posthumous organ donation rates. Objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to assess the willingness to donate (WTD) a family member's organs in the inhabitants of a large Romanian city (Iasi) and to analyze its factors; and (2) to determine the most important behaviors of the medical staff for our respondents in a hypothetical donation decision scenario.

METHODS: The study included a representative sample of the Iasi population. The instrument addressed WTD a family member's organs, both in general and in the particular situation of knowing that the deceased had a positive attitude toward organ donation, knowledge of transplantation-related issues, endorsement of beliefs concerning organ donation, and the importance of a set of medical staff's behaviors.

RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 1,034 participants, 48% (n = 496) of whom would most likely consent to donate a family member's organs, 18% (n = 191) would most likely refuse and 34% (n = 347) were unsure. The following factors were found to influence this variable: believing in the possible reversibility of brain death (P = .004); believing that body integrity should be preserved after death (P < .001); believing that part of the deceased continues to live through the organ recipients (P = .001); and being concerned about mutilation after donation (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: The WTD the organs of a deceased next of kin in the Iasi population, even when the deceased had positive attitudes on the matter, is lower than that reported by other studies in other European countries. It is mainly influenced by knowledge and concerns regarding the posthumous manipulation of the body. Consent in a potential donation situation also depends on the way in which the medical staff interacts with the bereaved family.


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