Potential organ donors fear inadequate treatment

Why are people reluctant to sign-up as organ donors?

A group of medical researchers from Emory University recently conducted a survey on this topic involving over 750 Americans. According to the researchers, the main deterrent for organ donation is a misperception that one will receive inadequate medical care if registered as an organ donor.

The results of the survey, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, also indicated several other factors that deterred people from donating. These include thinking there was an increased cost for the donor family when donating organs and thinking a famous person would get higher priority on the waitlist than others.

Of the respondents, 84.6 percent were willing to donate, 76.2 percent were female, 79.7 percent were Caucasian and 16.5 percent were African American. The respondents represented 37 states.

"Educating the public regarding these and other misperceptions is desperately needed," says Dr Marty T. Sellers of Emory University School of Medicine, the lead author of the paper. "With education, we believe this would convert more eligible donors into actual donors, which would shorten waiting times and allow transplantation earlier in a disease process. It would also lead to less pre- and post-transplant mortality; many living donors would be spared the risks associated with donating; and overall costs associated with transplantation would decrease."

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