Transplant Proc 2020 Apr 28;52(3):695-699. Epub 2020 Feb 28.
Department of Nephrology and Hypertension with Dialysis Unit, Medical University of Białystok, Białystok, Poland.
Background: In the modern era, organ transplantation has become an important means of treating certain diseases. Although it is widespread and medically accepted, certain controversies still exist.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate attitudes toward organ transplantation among medical students.
Methods: The anonymous survey was conducted among 273 medical students (from the departments of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and physiotherapy). The questionnaire was self-designed and contained 15 dichotomous questions.
Results: Among students, 99.6% accepted transplantation as a therapeutic method. Live-donor transplantation was accepted by 98.9% of students and transplantation from unrelated donors by 92.6% and 87.6% (depending on the existence of an emotional bond between the donor and the recipient). Interestingly, 12.8% of students approved of the selling of organs as a means of expanding the donor pool, and there were significant differences between divisions. On average, 90.1% of students declared knowledge of the definition of brain death with statistically significant differences between groups. Unfortunately, only 81.3% of students accepted the definition of brain death. Moreover, 98.5% of students would accept an organ if needed but only 93.8% declared willingness to donate organs after death. Interestingly, 26.4% of subjects stated that family should decide whether organs can be retrieved. Only 69.2% of respondents had talked to loved ones about their attitudes concerning organ transplantation.
Conclusions: Although organ transplantation as a therapeutic method is widely accepted, there are still certain areas where considerable controversies exist. A structured, well-planned educational program should be implemented to improve awareness and attitude, especially among medical students.