[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have reported that some individuals are willing to donate a kidney anonymously to a stranger; however, intentions are poor predictors of behavior. We surveyed individuals interested in being living anonymous donors (LADs), exposed them to an interview paralleling live-donor assessment, and measured their LAD commitment. Personality and donation decision factors were examined to corroborate cases of attitudinal and behavioral congruency.
A telephone survey of 1,002 randomly selected adults living in Vancouver, British Columbia, asked respondents how willing they were to donate a kidney, while alive, to particular individuals including a stranger. A subsample participated in a follow-up, which involved completing a mailed questionnaire and taking part in an in-depth interview. Expert raters judged respondents' commitment to being a LAD on the basis of the interviews.
Two hundred fifty-eight (26%) of those surveyed stated they would probably or definitely be willing to donate a kidney to a stranger. Fifty-two completed the follow-up. Sixteen of the 52 (31%) were judged to be "committed LADs." No demographic differences were found between the committed LADs and the 33 remaining "noncommitted participants." The committed LADs differed significantly from the noncommitted participants on personality measures and donation decision factors. These differences underscore the latter group's anonymous donation commitment.
This study brings into focus the potential for a significant number of individuals coming forward as potential LAD candidates if they are informed about the need and given unbiased information about the procedure. We believe there is ethical latitude in allowing the promotion of LAD donation by interested third parties such as patient advocacy groups and professional bodies. We advocate public awareness of LAD programs as a first step followed thereafter by more provocative measures to engage the public in this endeavor.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies indicate that 11% to 54% of individuals surveyed would consider donating a kidney, while alive, to a stranger. The idea of 'living anonymous donors' (LADs) as a donor source, however, has not been embraced by the medical community. Reservations focus on the belief that LADs might be psychologically unstable and thus unsuitable donors. Our goal was to inform policy development by exploring the psycho-social make up and motivations of the LAD. Ninety-three unsolicited individuals contacted our center expressing interest in living anonymous donation. Of these, 43 participated in our study, completing two extensive inventories of psychopathology and personality disorder and taking part in the Comprehensive Psycho-Social Interview (CPSI). From the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R), and the CPSI, coders assessed psychological health, psycho-social suitability, commitment, and motivations. Twenty-one participants passed the stringent criteria to be considered potential LADs. Content analysis of motivations showed that potential LADs were more likely than non-LADs (those who did not pass the criteria) to have a spiritual belief system and to be altruistic. Non-LADs were more likely than potential LADs to use donation to make a statement against their families. The authors conclude with a preliminary outline of eight policy recommendations.
American Journal of Transplantation 03/2003; 3(2):203-13. · 6.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health professionals are increasingly turning to living organ donation to augment cadaveric donation. Although living donation is currently performed with donors who are either genetically or emotionally related to the recipient, a 1997 British Columbia Transplant Society survey indicated that 32% of BC residents would be willing to donate a kidney, while alive, to a stranger (unpublished data). The goal of this study is to tap the public pulse about the living anonymous donor (LAD) by replicating and expanding the 1997 findings.
Five hundred BC residents completed a telephone survey including demographic information, questions about their organ donation behaviors and attitudes, and their willingness to donate a kidney, while alive, to particular individuals (child, spouse, parent, relative, friend, and stranger). To improve the methodological rigor of the 1997 study, an informed condition was added in the current study where participants learned about living donation before being asked about their willingness to donate.
There were no differences among the 1997 results and the two conditions in the 2000 survey. Twenty-eight percent of participants in the uninformed condition and 29% of participants in the informed condition indicated that they would be willing to be LADs. LADs were more likely than self-reported non-donors to have registered as cadaveric donors and to endorse attitudes that were congruent with wanting to donate to a stranger.
This study replicates the 1997 findings and increases confidence that a significant minority of British Columbians support living anonymous donation and that some would consider becoming LADs themselves.