Promoting organ donation through the ‘intensity of discussions’ with next of kin: role of superstition, taboo of death and personality variables

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July 24, 2015

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altruism discussion with next of kin extraversion organ donation social marketing superstition taboo of death


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Sondes Zouaghi et al., « Promoting organ donation through the ‘intensity of discussions’ with next of kin: role of superstition, taboo of death and personality variables », Hyper Article en Ligne - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, ID : 10670/1.81623u


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In France, more than 16,000 patients hope to receive a donated organ each year. Only one third of these patients receive transplants and 500 people die before being called for a transplant. However, the number of donations could be increased considerably by encouraging donor card holders to discuss the subject with their families. The objective of this research is to develop a better understanding of discussion behaviours with families regarding a decision to donate one’s organs post mortem. To this end, a quantitative survey was carried out on a broad sample of 11,235 holders of organ donor cards. This work introduces two main contributions in relation to previous work. First, it demonstrates that the intensity of discussions with next-of-kin has an impact on the donor’s confidence in having their wishes respected. Second, it demonstrates the need to take into account individual determinants such as the taboo of death, superstition and extraversion in order to better understand the intensity of discussions with next-of-kin. Our research also confirms the impact of altruism on discussions about organ donation. In light of our results, managerial implications are proposed below.

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