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Specific unwillingness to donate eyes: the impact of disfigurement, knowledge and procurement on corneal donation.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Transplantation
1600-6143
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Volume
10
Issue
3
Pages
657–663
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02986.x
PMID: 20121739
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although willingness, attitudes and beliefs surrounding solid-organ donation have been extensively investigated, much less is known about corneal donation. Despite evidence that a substantial number of families who agree to multiorgan donation also specifically refuse corneal donation, it is unclear why this occurs and what can be done to increase rates of corneal donation. We conducted a survey of 371 Australian adults regarding their views on corneal donation. Although willingness to donate corneas generally reflected a person's willingness to donate all of one's organs, unwillingness to donate corneas appeared to be due to other factors. Specifically, decisions not to donate appear to be driven by a range of concerns surrounding disfigurement. The survey also provides eye banks with reassurance about the acceptability of whole globe procurement, and recognition that research into blindness is a highly valued part of corneal donation. Finally, the survey identifies that many individuals see benefit in having their family engaged in the decision-making process, suggesting that decisions about donation are more complex than a simple appeal to the autonomy of the deceased.

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