African-american reluctance to donate: Beliefs and attitudes about organ donation and implications for policy

Abstract
: This paper reviews current and suggested policies designed to increase organ donation in the United States and indicates the problems inherent to these approaches for increasing organ donation by African Americans. Data from a population-based study assessing attitudes and beliefs about organ donation among white and African-American respondents are presented and discussed. We pose the question of whether it is reasonable to maintain the existing system or whether we should institute a system that uses policies based on the attitudes and beliefs of a minority group that is in greater need than the majority. In light of the discussion, we suggest that the current policies guiding the organ procurement system are not adequate to address existing concerns within the African-American community and that a different set of assumptions may be needed to drive organ procurement policy
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