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J Emerg Nurs. 1999 Feb;25(1):21-7.

The need for increasing organ donation among African Americans and Hispanic Americans: an overview.

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Center for Nursing Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Nursing, USA.


Other groups in the United States could no doubt benefit from attention to the issue of organ donation, but I was unable to collect any data on the cultural beliefs and perspectives of the Asian American population, for example, regarding organ donation. We know that most Asian countries, such as Japan, have only recently begun organ donation programs. The United States represents one of the most culturally heterogeneous populations in the world today. Health care workers are called on every day of their lives to overcome cultural or ethnic differences, and at no point during the health care process is culturally competent care more necessary than during the final hours of a person's life. Organ donation is a question that should be asked of every family that loses a loved one so that they can have the opportunity to give of themselves in an effort to save the lives of others. The lives of many persons are solely dependent upon the successful retrieval of an organ donor. Therefore, being well informed and effective with potential donor families is imperative for emergency nurses. Editor's note: This manuscript is an academic paper that was written at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where the author is a student nurse. When the manuscript and educational displays were completed, representatives from the Wisconsin Donor Network attended a reception at the school held during National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week. Accompanying them was a young 27-year-old recipient of a heart transplant. As a result of his visit, faculty and students (even "skeptics") were inspired to become organ or tissue donors by signing the back of their driver's licenses and became committed to educating others about the issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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