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Cultural impact on organ donation - Essay Example

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Summary
To people with organ failure anywhere in the world,organ transplants are known as gifts of life and gifts of love.It is a separate matter altogether that all patients will not receive organ donations in times of need.This could be due to cultural restraints,religious beliefs,or a shortage of donor organs…
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Cultural impact on organ donation
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Cultural impact on organ donation

Download file to see previous pages... While certain groups of people would not permit themselves to become the selfless donors of organs during their lifetimes or upon death, there are others that do not allow themselves to use donated organs because of individual beliefs, regardless of whether we consider these puritanical or not. Financial considerations also come into play. In poorer parts of the world where organs are sold much of the time, the majority may not be able to afford them.In the United Kingdom, more than six thousand persons each year wait for a donor organ to arrive in time and save their lives. They go through severe illness and painful treatment during this indefinite waiting period. There are fewer than three thousand organ transplants carried out every year. And, at least four hundred people die while waiting (Macnair 2006).Dr. Trisha Macnair of UK reports that the South Asian, African and African-Caribbean people are three to four times more likely to need an organ donation owing to special genetic factors. However, it is not easy to find organs for them because the Asians and the Black African folks do not readily agree to organ transplantation. Only 2.4 percent of the people registered for organ donation belong to ethnic minority groups.Dr. Macnair writes: "The best match is likely to come from someone from the same ethnic group." This is because certain genetic types are more likely to occur within particular populations and unusual blood groups often found among particular minority ethnic groups. Thence it is important for Asian and African blood and organs to be available at all times. Truth is that although Asians make up only 2.7 percent of population in the United Kingdom, they account for 16 percent of those waiting for an organ transplant. In the same way, Africans make up only 2 percent of the UK population but 6 percent of the waiting list for kidney transplants.
Even though Britain's main religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism - do not forbid organ donation, at least seventeen percent of the people in Asian communities trust that their religions have said no to it, and thirty percent are uncertain. Similarly, the Black people are averse to organ transplants because of fears, such as the fear of being used for experimentation, or having an organ taken before one's actual death (Macnair).
Clive O. Callender conducted research on the American Black community's beliefs about organ transplantation in 1982. It was found that the principal reasons for the Black people disagreeing with the idea of organ donation were: (1) religious beliefs; (2) an unwillingness to reflect on death; and (3) the fear that a donor might be left without adequate medical care (Arnason 1991). Callender also reported, "There was considerable concern over the negative implications of cross-race transplants. A significant number of respondents preferred not to cross racial barriers because they felt the black kidney was superior" (Callender 1989). Jeffrey M. Prottas (1983), when writing on altruism with reference to racism in the United States, discussed that Black families often express the belief that organ donation mainly helps the whites, and therefore, the Black people will not cooperate to that end.
Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation (1998) published an exploratory study examining the influence of religion on attitudes toward organ donation among Asian people in Luton, UK. According to the results, religion and culture play a less prohibitive role in determining whether an Asian person would donate his organs. The shortage of organ donors in the Asian community is rather due to a general ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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