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A survey of medical doctor's views on cadaveric organ donation and transplantation.

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The views of medical doctors regarding organ donation and transplantation in the Durban Metropolitan Region were examined in an exploratory and explanatory study, which included a descriptive, convenience sampled study of 43 graduate and postgraduate professionals, practicing in the private and provincial sectors. Characteristics were obtained from a 1 D6-item questionnaire that were later divided into component contributions according to Fazio's attitude to behavior process model (Fazio, 1989; Fazio & RoskosEewoldson, 1994). Variables which were analysed included personal demographics, personal views, knowledge and skills, practice-related issues, attitudes and perceptions as well as future recommendations. Analysis of the information revealed that most medical doctors approved of organ donation practices and viewed transplantation as a significant roleplayer in both the community and medical sectors. However, a knowledge and skills deficit combined with religious presumptions and general uncertainty regarding issues surrounding the practical, legal and emotional concepts of brain death may be responsible for the relatively low personal dedication and practice participation rate among the sample. Medical doctors from the provincial sector appeared to have considerable concerns which included: time constraints; a perceived lack of support from colleagues, nurses and hospital administrators; a lack of medico-Iegal awareness relating to organ donation and brain death and a scarcity of experience and insight into the transplant process. In order to address the paucity of awareness pertaining to brain death and organ donation activities, the findings indicate that formal and interactive education programs during the undergraduate, postgraduate and medical development phases are required in which issues surrounding death and dying can be explored by a multidisciplinary team. It appears that this team must comprise of doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, psychologists, administrators, nurses, donor families and transplant co-ordinators. This development may serve to emphasize the professional importance of holistic bereavement counseling, improve doctor and patient satisfaction, increase organ donation referrals and transplantation rates as well as diminish medico-Iegal concerns.


Thesis (M.Cur.)-University of Natal, Durban, 2001.


Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc.--Moral and ethical aspects., Donation of organs, tissues, etc., Non-heart-beating organ donation--South Africa., Non-heart-beating organ donation--South Africa., Physicians--South Africa--Attitude., Theses--Nursing.