Cluelessness preventing a lot of organ donations
Nearly half the public is willing to donate organs after their deaths, but many stop short of taking action because they don’t know how to go about it, according to a survey conducted by a state-run agency.
A survey of 1,000 men and women aged between 19 and 59 found that 47.7 percent of respondents are willing to become donors.
An organ donation management division at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the nationwide survey from December through January to study people’s perceptions about organ donation.
Among those willing to have their organs donated, only 14.9 percent said they were registered donors. The rest said they haven’t registered because they were afraid (42.4 percent) or didn’t know how to become a donor (41.4 percent).
Meanwhile, 52.3 percent said they didn’t want to have their organs removed after their deaths.
The most common reasons were fears (46.5 percent), a desire to be buried whole (39.2 percent) and the complexity of the registration process for becoming a donor (7.3 percent).
More than 97 percent of those polled said they had heard of organ donation, but the survey also suggested that people were not fully informed about the basics of the process.
The main step is to register as a donor at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be done online, by mail or fax.
Forty-seven percent said they weren’t aware that family members’ consent is required at the time of death, even if a person agreed to donate his or her organs.
“The research shows that helping people understand exactly how the process of organ donation works is necessary to promote organ donation,” said a representative of the center.
“And it also shows that the government should put more efforts into alleviating fears among potential donors,” the representative said. “People need to be reassured that everything will be done safely during the process.
“What the government can do is a promotional campaign to dispel misconceptions about organ donations and let people know that there are a host of people who desperately need their help.”
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]