Background: The deceased donor organ shortage has driven widespread adoption of living donor transplantation. Yet, public preferences for living donation are not well understood. This study aims to synthesize studies on public attitudes to living organ donation.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review and integrative synthesis of published studies on public awareness and attitudes toward living organ donation. Electronic databases and reference lists were searched to September 2012. Summary estimates from survey data were obtained by random effects meta-analysis. Qualitative descriptive synthesis of the results and conclusions in each study was performed.
Results: Forty-seven studies involving 34 610 respondents were included. The proportion of respondents reporting they were aware of living organ donation was 76.7% (4 studies, n = 3248; 95%CI:[46.2% to 97.0%], I2 = 99.7), the majority were in favour of living directed donation (85.5% (11 studies, n = 15,836; [CI: 81.6% to 89.6%]; I2 = 98%). Recipient and community benefit was the rationale provided but barriers included fear of surgical and health risks, lack of knowledge, respect for cultural norms, financial loss, distrust in hospitals, and avoiding recipient indebtedness. The public indicated willingness to solicit living donation for medical need but voiced concern about possible risks or an obligatory pressure exerted on the donor. Most supported altruistic donation to an unknown recipient but felt it should not be directed to a specific group or individual. Many believed reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses was legitimate, and supported paid leave, waitlisting priority, health insurance and public acknowledgement. There was strong opposition to financial incentives which they believed risked exploitation, inequity, and diminished voluntary altruistic donation.
Conclusion: The public is generally supportive of living related organ donation and articulated important equity and ethical considerations for protecting the health and safety of living donors. This supports increased public engagement and strengthening of a shared view among professionals and the public in the formation of living donation practice and policy.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Tong A, Chapman J, Wong G, Josephson M, Craig J. Public Awareness and Attitudes to Living Organ Donation [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2013; 13 (suppl 5). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/public-awareness-and-attitudes-to-living-organ-donation/. Accessed May 6, 2021.
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