Religious attitudes regarding organ donation

Colorado Organ Recovery Systems, Denver, USA.
Journal of transplant coordination: official publication of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO) 01/1997; 6(4):186-90. DOI: 10.7182/prtr.1.6.4.b8211n7433573121
Source: PubMed


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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    • "The church represents a potentially effective mechanism for developing and implementing a community intervention to shape African Americans' views on donation. Although religious objections to donation are often cited (Boulware et al., 2002; Callender, 1987; Durand et al., 2002; Gillman, 1999), almost all major religious organizations support donation; many even have supportive policy statements about organ donation (Gallagher, 1996). Thus, delivering an intervention in a church setting that conveys religious support for donation while addressing nonreligious concerns, such as inequalities in the organ allocation system, has the potential to increase donation intentions among African Americans. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of Project ACTS: About Choices in Transplantation and Sharing, which was developed to increase readiness for organ and tissue donation among African American adults. Nine churches (N = 425 participants) were randomly assigned to receive donation education materials currently available to consumers (control group) or Project ACTS educational materials (intervention group). The primary outcomes assessed at 1-year follow-up were readiness to express donation intentions via one's driver's license, donor card, and discussion with family. Results indicate a significant interaction between condition and time on readiness to talk to family such that participants in the intervention group were 1.64 times more likely to be in action or maintenance at follow-up than were participants in the control group (p = .04). There were no significant effects of condition or condition by time on readiness to be identified as a donor on one's driver's license and by carrying a donor card. Project ACTS may be an effective tool for stimulating family discussion of donation intentions among African Americans although additional research is needed to explore how to more effectively affect written intentions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Health Education & Behavior
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    • "Yet the influence of religious leaders should not be underestimated. The clergy are present with people during death and grieving and can be tremendous allies in the quest for alleviating the shortage of organ and tissue donors'' (Gallagher 1996, p. 190). "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Journal of Religion and Health
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    • "The finding that religious views are a major barrier to donation among parishioners (as reported by clergy) underscores the importance of collaborating with religious leaders to influence parishioner views on donation. Clergy in our study tend not to personally hold these beliefs, which is consistent with quantitative studies of religious leadership (Gallagher 1996; Davis et al. 2005). However, studies conducted in the US (Callendar et al. 2002a, b) and internationally (Darr & Randhawa 1999; Lam & McCullough 2000; Bhengu & Uys 2004) continue to find that religious beliefs are a major barrier to donation, particular among ethnic minorities. "
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    ABSTRACT: To describe and understand the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences towards organ and tissue donation among African American clergy in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The secondary objective is to understand what messages clergy are providing to their parishioners relative to organ and tissue donation, and what their perceived role is in donation education. A qualitative study in which African American clergy (n=26) participated in four focus groups. African American clergy, though generally supportive of organ and tissue donation in principle, have serious reservations about donation due to perceived inequalities in the donation and transplantation system. The clergy did not personally hold religious concerns about donation, but expressed that these concerns were a major barrier to donation among their parishioners. None of the clergy knew the written position that their religion took on donation; they acknowledged the need for more education for them and their parishioners on this topic. They also felt that as religious leaders, they could play an important role in promoting organ and tissue donation among African American parishioners. African American clergy and religious leaders may play an important role towards improving willingness to donate among African American parishioners, but more education and advocacy is needed to prepare them for this role.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2007 · Ethnicity and Health
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