The Influence of Sociocultural Factors on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Korea: Findings From Key Informant Interviews

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Journal Article
Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 2004, 15 (2), pp. 147 - 154
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Although brain death was formally recognized in Korea in 2000 for the purpose of organ donation, traditional Confucian-based thought still prevails. The aim of this study was to explore sociocultural perspectives that influence health professionals’ attitudes and perceptions regarding organ donation. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nine key informants from three major hospitals providing transplant services in South Korea. Several themes were identified as barriers to organ donation: Confucianism, misunderstandings and myths, organs as spare for selling, lack of clarity in the definition of death in the new legislation, and limited medical insurance coverage. It remains difficult for brain death to be accepted as true death, and there is currently a poor rate of organ procurement. Findings of the study will help identify socioculturally appropriate strategies to promote acceptance and accessibility of organ transplantation among South Koreans. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
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