Organ Transplantation And Organ Donation Shortages – If I Only Had A Heart, Or A Lung Or A Kidney…

2009-04-15 | |
Last updated: 2009-04-15

Sometimes, studies can really point out what isolated and uninformed lives we can lead. An action or inaction, as is usually the case, can have enormous impacts on others without our ever even being aware of the effects of some small thing we did not do. The results of a recent survey by a charitable organization that promotes organ donation are an example that demonstrates our collective ignorance all too clearly.

What Should We Know About Organ Donation?

In the survey of 5100 US adults conducted on behalf of the Donate Life organization, some sad statistics were tabulated. One of the more disturbing of the statistics revealed was that 57% of respondents were unaware that a “brain dead” person would be unable to recover from their injuries. Ignoring the fact that the description “brain dead” does not use complex medical terms, anyone who has ever watched a television medical drama would get the general idea. This finding alone suggests significant public ignorance of some fairly basic medical knowledge.

Another finding of interest from the survey that is less about knowledge and more about trust was that 50% of patients believed that a doctor would not try to save them with as much effort if the doctor knew that the patient was willing to donate their organs. The obvious lack of trust in this case really suggests that the medical profession is seen as suspect. It is hard to speculate whether this is purely an aspect of modern culture or whether for-profit health care has made the public cynical enough to believe that the doctors are simply on the look out for organs to transplant into their best-paying patients.

In any case, it suggests a real need for doctors to work on their collective public image.

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Category: General Health, Health Risks, Medical Treatment

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