Bioethics Discussion Blog: Culture and Organ Donation

REMINDER: I AM POSTING A NEW TOPIC ABOUT ONCE A WEEK OR PERHAPS TWICE A WEEK. HOWEVER, IF YOU DON'T FIND A NEW TOPIC POSTED, THERE ARE AS OF MARCH 2013 OVER 900 TOPIC THREADS TO WHICH YOU CAN READ AND WRITE COMMENTS. I WILL BE AWARE OF EACH COMMENTARY AND MAY COME BACK WITH A REPLY.

TO FIND A TOPIC OF INTEREST TO YOU ON THIS BLOG, SIMPLY TYPE IN THE NAME OR WORDS RELATED TO THE TOPIC IN THE FIELD IN THE LEFT HAND SIDE AT TOP OF THE PAGE AND THEN CLICK ON “SEARCH BLOG”. WITH WELL OVER 900 TOPICS, MOST ABOUT GENERAL OR SPECIFIC ETHICAL ISSUES BUT NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO ANY SPECIFIC DATE OR EVENT, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND WHAT YOU WANT. IF YOU DON’T PLEASE WRITE TO ME ON THE FEEDBACK THREAD OR BY E-MAIL DoktorMo@aol.com

IMPORTANT REQUEST TO ALL WHO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG: ALL COMMENTERS WHO WISH TO SIGN ON AS ANONYMOUS NEVERTHELESS PLEASE SIGN OFF AT THE END OF YOUR COMMENTS WITH A CONSISTENT PSEUDONYM NAME OR SOME INITIALS TO HELP MAINTAIN CONTINUITY AND NOT REQUIRE RESPONDERS TO LOOK UP THE DATE AND TIME OF THE POSTING TO DEFINE WHICH ANONYMOUS SAID WHAT. Thanks. ..Maurice

FEEDBACK,FEEDBACK,FEEDBACK! WRITE YOUR FEEDBACK ABOUT THIS BLOG, WHAT IS GOOD, POOR AND CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT TO THIS FEEDBACK THREAD

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Culture and Organ Donation

With no means at present to replace or adequately repair vital organs when they fail except through transplantation, it is clear that organ donation to provide the organs for procurement is at present the best and most ethical means for saving lives. Since the need for organs to be used for transplantation is greater than what is currently made available, there is pressure on those who facilitate the procurement of organs to do a better job. To do a better job though can be a challenge. It depends so much on the willingness of the public to want to donate their organs after their death for transplant. For those who provide an advance directive of their wishes to donate, their directive is hopefully followed. Hopefully, because though there is in the United States laws requiring such a directive to be followed, there are stories of families, after the death of their loved one, rejecting the directive and the organ procurement organization following the family’s wishes. The organs that are obtained after death of a member who had no directive are obtained because the families have agreed to the donation. The challenge to those requesting that the family agrees to donation is that the request is made at a very difficult time, at a time of expected or often unexpected loss that has not yet been fully emotionally accepted. In addition families may be confused about what the procurement process is all about, particularly when matters of “brain death” and death after life-support has been removed is discussed.

How a family might react to a request for donation is also related to the culture of the family and the associated beliefs both through cultural background and religion. It is apparent that in some cultures, it is the family that first receives the bad news of their member’s illness and the family makes all the decisions. In some cultures, invasion of the body of the deceased would be considered desecration and in other cultures there is attention to the matter of what is called “death”.

The request is made more delicate by the way the request is made and the degree of skill, understanding of the family’s views despite a different cultural background of the person making the request.

I bring up this topic of the role of culture and beliefs in the process of organ donation because in most hospitals within the United States, the patients and families are multi-cultural and so it is not at all unusual for cultural factors to be involved in whether organs can be obtained. For more details of the effect of culture on organ donations and the considerations that those who request donations from patients or families must take into account,go to this
link
.

Since, I see from my Sitemeter that I am getting visitors to my blog, not only from the United States but from around the world, I wonder how someone from Nigeria or South America or Japan or Saudi Arabia or other countries looks at organ donation after death and how their culture could affect their decisions either for themselves or as a family member. Any comments? ..Maurice.

3 Comments:

At Saturday, December 30, 2006 10:14:00 AM, Anonymous Sharmila said...

Culture and beliefs play a crucial role in Organ Donation all over the globe.
After a person's death, it is the family that makes the decision in many cultures. In others, the family is so stuck in grief, trusted members of the extended family make the final decisions on behalf of the family.
Awareness of the benefits of the Organ Donation can assist to an extent in elliminating te problem.

One of the primary goals of Akshaya Charitable Trust is to spread the awareness of Organ Donation in South India. www.akshaya.org

 
At Saturday, December 30, 2006 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Sharmila, thanks for your comment. Do you think there might be cultural concerns which are so intense regarding the disturbing the body of the deceased person that would trump any explanation to the family of the benefits of organ donation. What is the general view of organ donation in India? ..Maurice.

 
At Saturday, December 30, 2006 9:56:00 PM, Anonymous Sharmila@akshaya.org said...

Rebirth and life after death are part of Hinduism. Organ donation is not very wide spread in India.
Lack of awareness and Religious beliefs or misconceptions are a major road block to Organ Donors.
This is a major challenge that we are planning to address through akshaya charitable trust.
Sharmila(www.akshaya.org)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home