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Religious attitudes regarding organ donation.

ABSTRACT This study of seminary students, religious leaders, and hospital chaplains illustrates the importance of educating clergy about organ donation. Religious objections are often cited as a reason for refusal to give consent for donation. Results of this study show that most clergy are supportive of organ donation. However, the survey pointed out some misunderstanding of the concept of brain death. Thus, although the clergy are supportive and influential, they tend not to receive medical information that is key to the donation process. Further education specifically focused on religious leaders is needed.

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    Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva 06/2007; 19(2):144-150.
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    ABSTRACT: Grundlagen: Ziel der Arbeit war es, das Wissen, die Einstellungen, die Bedenken von MedizinstudentInnen bezüglich der Organtransplantation und Organspende zu dokumentieren. Methodik: Der für die österreichische Gesetzeslage revidierte Kurzfragebogen vonStrenge wurde 290 Studierenden der Medizin im vorklinischen Abschnitt vorgelegt. Er umfaßt Fragen zum Interesse am Thema Organtransplantation, zum Wissen über die gesetzliche Regelung, erfragt die Bedenken gegenüber einer Organspende im Todesfall und die Organpräferenzen hinsichtlich einer Organspende. Ergebnisse: Das Interesse an dem Thema „Organtransplantation” war groß (Rücklaufquote der Fragebögen: 95%). 84% der MedizinstudentInnen wußten um eine gesetzliche Regelung der Transplantation in Österreich Bescheid. Diejenigen StudentInnen, die (richtigerweise) die Widerspruchslösung als Gesetzesgrundlage annahmen (40%), äußerten signifikant weniger Bedenken gegenüber der Organspende als jene, die (fälschlicherweise) die Zustimmungslösung als Basis sahen (51%). Die Bedenken hinsichtlich der Organspende im Todesfall bezogen sich im wesentlichen auf 1. die Person des potentiellen Empfängers, 2. die Angst vor Mißbrauch, 3. das Problem der Festsetzung des Hirntodes als Tod des Menschen, 4. ethische Fragen, 5. Art und Anzahl der entnommenen Organe. Das Herz war jenes Organ, von dem sich die Studierenden am ehesten vorstellen konnten, es zu spenden, gefolgt von Niere, Leber, Lunge, Bauchspeicheldrüse und zuletzt der Hornhaut. Schlußfolgerungen: Unsere Erhebung konnte zeigen, daß bei den MedizinstudentInnen das Interesse an Organtransplantation hoch ist, daß jedoch gravierende persönliche Bedenken bestehen, die im Hinblick auf die künftige Spenderführung und Patientenbetreuung diskutiert werden müßten. Background: The purpose of the study was to assess knowledge, attitudes and belief of medical students towards organ transplantation and donation. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 290 students who were asked to reply anonymously to questions dealing with general interest in organ transplantation, knowledge of related legal issues in Austria, objections against organ donation and comfort/discomfort with donation of certain organs. Results: The overall interest in organ transplantation was high (response rate: 95%). Legal issues were answered correctly in 84%, but only 40% of the students were able to name correctly the presumed consent type of the Austrian policy. Students being aware of the legal policy reported significantly fewer concerns with organ donation than did those who supposed required request law. Major concerns included 1) concerns about the organ recipient (his/her personality, gender, age, nationality, kind of disease, self-injuring behaviour), 2) fear of misuse and distrust against medical procedures (importing organs from underdeveloped countries, performing experiments with the organs), 3) ethical concerns towards the medical definition of brain-death, 4) ethical and religious issues, 5) discomfort with donation of certain organs. The students ranged the heart to be the first organ to spend, followed by the kidneys, liver, lung, pancreas, and cornea. Conclusions: Our study revealed a high overall interest of medical students in organ transplantation. Obviously a lack of correct medical information is discernible. Equally psychological and ethical concerns seem to hinder a positive attitude to organ procurement.
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    Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva 01/2007; 19(2). DOI:10.1590/S0103-507X2007000200002