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Conflicting attitudes to corneal and organ donation: a study of nurses' attitudes to organ donation

journal contribution
posted on 1995-01-01, 00:00 authored by Bridie KentBridie Kent, R G Owens
The demand for transplantable organs and tissues is steadily increasing and action is necessary to improve the organ and tissue donation rates. Previous research has suggested that nurses have a substantial influence on the rates of donation in the clinical area. Nurses (N = 150) were asked to complete a number of measures to assess positive and negative attitudes towards cadaveric organ donation, with 112 (74.6%) responding. The findings identified conflicting attitudes particularly in relation to corneal donation; 25% of the respondents would not donate their corneas. Reasons given included fear of disfigurement, religious factors such as the need to see into the next life, and dislike of the thought of donation of eyes but without knowing why. The majority of the respondents were in favour of donation generally and many carried or had signed donor cards. Nurses are usually the professionals who have the most contact with the patient in the clinical and are therefore able to identify potential donors. It seems likely that nurses with conflicting attitudes to donation are less likely to undertake the emotional costs involved when relatives of potential donors are approached re donation, than those who have more positive attitudes. © 1995.



International Journal of Nursing Studies






484 - 492