Attitudes and beliefs about organ donation among different racial groups

Christine C. Yuen, William Burton, Peter Chiraseveenuprapund, Erin Elmore, Susan Wong, Philip Ozuah, Michael Mulvihill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Many people on the waiting list for organ donation die each year without receiving organs. The shortage of organs is even more pronounced in minority communities. Despite the fact that minorities are at higher risk, they may be less likely to support or consent to organ donation. This investigation was undertaken to study racial factors in organ donation, by focusing on differences in awareness, attitudes, and behavior. Three family practice centers in the Bronx with racially diverse but socioeconomically homogenous communities were studied. The study population consisted of a convenience sample of 163 patients who were approached for participation while they waited to see a doctor. Respondents filled out a 25-item survey that measured demographic information; their exposure to, awareness of, and attitudes toward organ donation; and whether they had signed an organ donor card. The results demonstrated overwhelming support for organ donation across all racial groups. Racial differences were found on awareness of and attitudes toward organ donation, and in the signing of organ donation cards. In contrast to other studies, racial minorities were not less likely than whites to support organ donation. These results suggest that making it easier for racial minorities to obtain organ donor cards could increase their rates of consenting to donate organs. (J Natl Med Assoc. 1998;90:13-18.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Minorities
  • Organ donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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