Children's opinions about organ donation: a first step to assent?

Marion J. Siebelink*, Erwin A. H. M. Geerts, Marcel J. I. J. Albers, Petrie F. Roodbol, Harry B. M. van de Wiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Parents have to decide about organ donation after the death of their child. Although most parents probably would like to respect their child's intentions, parents often are not aware of their child's wishes. This requires insight into children's opinions about donation. Methods: An internet survey that investigated whether Dutch children in the age range of 12 through 15 years had heard about organ donation, what their opinions were on donation and whether the topic had been discussed at home. Questionnaire response rate 38%. Results: Around 99% of 2016 responders had heard about organ donation and about the possibility of becoming a donor, 75% preferred to decide for themselves about donation, 43% had discussed organ donation more than once at home, 66% were willing to donate. The willingness to donate was positively associated with age and socio-economic status. Conclusion: This survey indicates that these children at 12 through 15 years of age are capable and willing to think about organ donation. Thought should be given about how to raise awareness and how to enable parents and children to develop some sort of health literacy concerning the concept of organ donation. Children and their parents should be given adequate opportunities to receive appropriate information, suited to their psychological and moral developmental status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-533
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2012

Keywords

  • DECISIONS
  • CONSENT
  • DEATH

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