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Public opinion and organ donation suggestions for overcoming barriers.

FĂ©lix Cantarovich

Ann Transplant 2005; 10(1): 22-25

ID: 142745

Getting organs for transplantation depends on people's decision; thus,public opinion is essential to finding a solution to this problem. Efforts to improve organ shortagefocus on: 1) Living, unrelated donation, 2) increasing marginal donors and 3) proposing economic supportfor donors. Paradoxically, no initiative has been suggested to modify public opinion towards cadaverdonors. Several reasons explain the resistance to donating cadaver organs: Lack of awareness, religiousuncertainties, distrust of medicine, hostility to new ideas, and misinformation. Education should beused to reshape public opinion about the use of organs for transplantation. Society should accept that"using" body parts is moral and offers a source of health for everybody. The concept that using cadaverorgans implies sharing a source of health might be a social agreement between all members of Society.Suggestions for improving organ shortage include: 1) Society should understand that during one's lifeone may be just as easily a potential organ receiver as one is an organ donor. 2) Cadaver organs arean irreplaceable source of health. 3) As self-interest is one obstacle to donating cadaver organs, the"concept that allowing the use of our organs after death represents a chance of sharing health for everybody"may be useful for a change of attitude. Even though a poll among transplant professionals supported thissuggestion, an international public survey should be carried out to evaluate people's reaction to thismessage.

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