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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  • Medical Care 03/2002; 40(2):81-4. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The similarities and differences in organ donation policies, consent rates, and number of organs transplanted from patients declared "brain dead" after traumatic injury in different countries has not been previously reported. An international trauma survey questionnaire was developed. Analysis of two responding centers with regard to organ donation practices between urban, free-standing adult trauma hospitals is presented: the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (STC) in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Lorenz Böhler Hospital (LBH) in Vienna, Austria. Hospital admissions resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI) account for a significantly greater number of admissions at the STC than at the LBH (761 vs. 276), and the STC has a higher number of patients admitted with severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score < 8). Of 39 medically suitable brain-dead patients at the STC, 18 went to organ donation. At the LBH, 16 patients were declared brain-dead, 7 were considered to be medically suitable, and all 7 went to donation. A "presumed consent" organ donation policy in Austria resulted in 100% of medically suitable patients going to donation at the LBH. With a volunteer donation policy at the STC, 46% of patients went to donation. Of those families who refused donation at the STC, 9 of 16 eligible African Americans (56%), 10 of 21 eligible Caucasians (48%), 1 Hispanic, and 1 Native American Indian family declined donation. "Presumed" organ donation in Austria led to 4 organs transplanted per trauma brain-death at the LBH, as compared with 3.8 organs per brain-death at the STC. The greater number of patients with severe TBI at the STC accounts for a similar organ donation rate compared with the LBH, despite the fact that the consent at the STC is voluntary and at the LBH is "presumed." A higher organ donation rate in the United States would result in a greater number of organ transplants from patients who die after traumatic injury and a resultant increase in potential lives saved. There does not appear to be a significant difference in ethnicity between families who accept and those who refuse organ donation after traumatic brain death declaration at the STC.
    The Journal of trauma 05/2003; 54(5):995-9. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of an Australian national project, quantitative data via a survey were retrospectively obtained from Australian health care chaplains (staff and volunteer chaplains) to initially identify chaplaincy participation in various bioethical issues-including organ procurement. Over a third of surveyed staff chaplains (38%) and almost a fifth of volunteer chaplains (19.2%) indicted that they had, in some way, been involved in organ procurement issues with patients and/or their families. Nearly one-fifth of staff chaplains (19%) and 12% of volunteer chaplains had also assisted clinical staff concerning various organ procurement issues. One hundred of the surveyed chaplains volunteered to an interview. Qualitative data were subsequently coded from 42 of the chaplains who had been involved in organ procurement requests. These data were thematically coded using the World Health Organization 'Pastoral Intervention Codings' (WHO-PICs). The qualitative data revealed that through a variety of pastoral interventions a number of chaplains (the majority being staff chaplains) were engaged in the critical and sensitive issues of organ procurement. It is argued that while such involvement can help to ensure a holistic and ethically appropriate practice, it is suggested that chaplains could be better utilized not only in the organ procurement process but also for the training of other chaplains and clinicians.
    Journal of Religion and Health 09/2009; 50(3):743-59. · 1.02 Impact Factor