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Z Gastroenterol. 2006 Nov;44(11):1135-40.

[Attitudes towards cadaveric organ donation--results from a representative survey of the German population].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinik Mainz.


The increasing deficit of organs causes a drastic decline in the quality of life and survival of numerous patients in need of a transplantation. The purpose of this representative community study was to survey attitudes toward transplantation in the German population and to identify underlying determinants. Unlike previous surveys, fears and concerns were elicited based on a concrete case vignette. Among the 1,002 participants, 90 % were in favour of organ donation in general; 21 % reported having signed an organ donor card. Consent to organ donation was associated with younger age and higher social class; the same was true for the possession of an organ donor card. In the virtual decision situation, the majority (77 %) voted in favour of an organ donation based on saving lives, consolation for bereaved and the absence of disadvantages for the donor. Common (up to 50 %), however, were also fears and concerns regarding determination of the time of death, displacement of medical concern from the donor to the recipient of the organ, utilisation of organs for other purposes, or explantation before death. The knowledge of the determinants identified, of existing fears and concerns are helpful not only for informing the public, but also for the dialogue with the next of kin of potential donors. Here, it may be helpful not only to address arguments pro organ donation, but also to address potential fears and concerns.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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