Ethics. Research. Community.

How to improve organ donation: results of the ISHLT/FACT poll.

The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation. 
22
(4): 
389-410; 
2003. 
(English). 
[Record Source: PubMed]
BACKGROUND: Worldwide organ shortages remain a long-standing problem. Efforts to address this have ranged from attempts to improve public awareness to modified mandated choice systems; most have been unsuccessful. In the face of this intractable problem, increased consideration has been given to direct and indirect compensation, and in certain countries, black markets for organs have developed. To examine the attitudes of the transplant medical community regarding these issues, we surveyed members of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) in conjunction with the Foundation for the Advancement of Cardiac Therapies (FACT). METHODS/RESULTS: We asked for opinions about how to improve organ donation. Of 739 respondents, 75% supported presumed consent, and 39% identified it as the single best way to increase donation; improved public education was a distant second (18%). Seventy percent supported indirect compensation (e.g., payment of funeral expenses, donation to a charity of the family's choice), and 66% opposed direct compensation (e.g., tax credit, life insurance benefit). When asked whether next of kin should be consulted regarding organ donation, and 84.2% responded affirmatively. However, of these individuals, 77.2% did not think that consultation should be required if the potential donor already had signed a donor card. MEMBERSHIP: Our membership dramatically favors indirect over direct compensation as a way of increasing organ donation. The majority also favors the wishes of the individual over the family in determining donor status. However, presumed consent is the single best way to significantly improve organ donation, according to the majority of our respondents. More effort should be directed toward policy in these areas as opposed to improving public education, which has failed to yield satisfactory results.
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Detailed Record Information

Record TypeJournal Article
Record Source Status
[MEDLINE]
FormatsPrint
ISSN1053-2498