, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 469-476

Effects of Anonymous Information About Potential Organ Transplant Recipients on Attitudes Toward Organ Transplantation and the Willingness to Donate Organs

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Abstract

Two approaches for educating college students about the need for organ donors were compared. The experimental group (N = 162) watched a videotaped dramatization of an organ procurement coordinator asking the family members of a recently deceased loved one if they would donate their loved one's organs. Contained in this videotape was demographic information about three adults who needed an organ transplant. The control group (N = 169) saw the same videotape minus the demographic information. Extrapolating from research on altruism, we hypothesized that information about potential organ recipients would increase the viewer's willingness to donate a next-of-kin's organs and their own willingness to become an organ donor. Results supported this hypothesis. Compared to the control group, the experimental group was more willing to donate a next-of-kin's organs and take action to become an organ donor. We tentatively conclude that providing information about potential organ recipients increases the willingness of college students to become organ donors.