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Journal ID : TMJ-23-08-2021-10596
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Title : Organ donation and gender differences: A qualitative study of female donor experiences

Abstract :

Living organ donation is an important contributor to the total organ transplant activity carried out in the world. However, there is a clear gender imbalance in the donation activity with more female donors compared to male donors. The present study researched into causes for this phenomenon observed worldover. A total of 26 female donors and their relatives participated in the study wherein interviews were conducted with each to understand the factors that influenced the decision of organ donation. In this qualitaive study it was found that there is a deep influence of the family on the decision to be an organ donor and often such a decision was taken by the family. It is possible that the female donors find it difficult to refute such a group decision. These decisions are also influenced by cultural norms, traditional gender roles of homemaker and bread earner. The decision to donate is also influenced by relation with the recipient and simultaneously with related socio-economic influence. The decision when the donation is within the family, has a positive influence on the mental as well as social status of the female donor and such a benefit could be a factor influencing the decision. The study emphasizes again on the willingness of the female gender to risk life to save or reduce the suffering of a fellow human being. It was observed that while all potential live donors have been apprised of the possible risks of surgery, the data itself is unreliable as there is not much follow up being done of the health status of the donors. This is especially true in India. There is a necessity to keep a regular update on the health status of the live organ donors so that more reliable data in this regard is generated. None of the donors had received any compensation for the organ they had donated but a few expressed that a compensation in the form of regular health checkup after surgery would be welcome.

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