People Less Willing to Donate Organs for Research

U.K. survey finds some people want more control over how tissue, organs are used

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THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- People are becoming less willing to donate tissue for research, according to a small British survey in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

The survey of 100 people, aged 20 to 69, in northern England found nearly one in five (18 percent) of the respondents said they would refuse to consent to the use of any tissues or organs listed for medical research. The list included eye, head and neck, ovary/testicle, lung embryo, bone, heart, brain or breast tissue.

That's a higher level of reluctance than found in previous studies.

Of the people who said they would be willing to donate tissue, more than 80 percent said they would donate their tissues/organs for cancer research. Two-thirds were also willing to donate their tissues for research into genetic disorders.

About one in four (26 percent) said they'd be willing for their tissues to be used in genetic cloning. Many of the survey respondents wanted a considerable amount of control over any tissues they donated. About four out of 10 (42 percent) wanted to be told if their tissues were going to be stored after donation and one in three wanted to be consulted if their tissues were going to be used for further research.

Nearly 75 percent of those in the survey said they were happy for their tissues to be used to teach medical students, while half said they would consent to their child's tissue/organs being used for medical research.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about tissue donation.

SOURCE: BMJ Specialist Journals, news release, Jan. 29, 2004


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