Public attitudes toward the ethics of organ donation

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organ donation, attitudes, human rights, donors, students


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study expanded on previous investigations exploring public attitudes to- ward the human rights issues involved in organ donation practices and per- sonal support for these practices. Participants included college and graduate students, and senior citizens (N = 99). Attitudes were assessed prior to and following the presentation of a brief informational DVD on major organ do- nation practices. Results indicated that participants were largely divided in their attitudes toward human rights issues, as well as in personal support for donation practices. Registration status was correlated with education, r = .47, p < .001. Support for donation incentive programs varied. Registered donors showed a change in attitudes toward human rights issues, t(22) = 2.18, p = .04. For non-registered donors, personal support for donation practices decreased after viewing the DVD, t(51) = - 3.06, p = .004. Results are discussed in terms of implications for increasing donation.

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