What factors influence people's decisions to register for organ donation? The results of a nominal group study

Michelle Irving, Stephen Jan, Allison Tong, Germaine Wong, Jonathan Craig, S Chadban, John Rose, Alan Cass, Richard Allen, Kirsten Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Rates of transplantation from deceased donors remain low, despite high rates of expressed support. We aimed to better understand this mismatch through determining community attitudes regarding willingness to register as organ donors. Participants were recruited from the general public in four Australian states. Using nominal group techniques, participants ranked factors they believed were important when deciding to register as a deceased donor. Thirteen nominal groups with 114 participants were conducted. 24 factors were ranked by three or more groups. The top ten factors were as follows: saving lives, own decision to donate, family opinions, benefit to recipients, process of organ donation, positive media, positive closure, clarity of consent and body dignity. Other factors included: the consent system, religious and cultural beliefs and incentives for donation. Participant age was a potential modifier of responses. Willingness to register as an organ donor is highly influenced by the altruistic motive of saving lives and improving lives for others; this should be harnessed in communication campaigns. Further research on ethical incentives for organ donation and continued efforts to promote support from religious groups may be useful. Many believe the sole right to consent to donation is theirs and not their families; consent policies reflecting this should be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-624
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • altruism
  • consent
  • donor registries
  • organ donation
  • qualitative


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