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Gender differences in family communication about organ donation
Unformatted Document Text:  9 factors as empathy, altruism, or family and peer group pressure may counteract avoidance tendencies resulting from disgust sensitivity. While women may be more willing to donate, the actual potential donor pool is frequently comprised of more men than women (Schaeffer, Johnson, Suddaby, Suddaby, & Brigham, 1998). Since 1990, the percentage of potential cadaveric organ donors has been predominately male – with percentages of male organ donors ranging from 63% to 57% (UNOS, 2001). Because men, on average, die at a younger age than do women, and younger organs are more likely to be successful for transplantation (Marino, Doyle, Aldrighetti, Doria, McMichael, Gayowski, Fung, Tzakis, & Starzl, 1995), it is not surprising that males would make up a greater percentage of the donor pool than do women and would be an important target group. If women are more willing to donate their organs than are men, but the actual donor pool from which organs could be harvested is composed of more men, then targeting males with persuasive campaigns becomes even more relevant. This is particularly true given a growing body of research that indicates that gender of the donor affects the survival rate of patients. Studies have shown that in the case of heart and liver transplantation and to a lesser degree kidney transplantation, organs donated by women are more likely to be rejected than are those from men (Lietz, John, Kocher, Schuster, Mancini, Edwards, & Itescu, 2001; Marino et al., 1995). Related research has shown that, while potential donors are most likely to be males, the family member making the decision about donation after the death of the potential donor is more likely to be female (Siminoff et al., 2001). This point is of special interest if females are more reluctant than males to go against the wishes of the male partner.

Authors: Thompson, Teresa., Robinson, James. and Kenny, Wade.
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9
factors as empathy, altruism, or family and peer group pressure may counteract avoidance
tendencies resulting from disgust sensitivity.
While women may be more willing to donate, the actual potential donor pool is
frequently comprised of more men than women (Schaeffer, Johnson, Suddaby, Suddaby,
& Brigham, 1998). Since 1990, the percentage of potential cadaveric organ donors has
been predominately male – with percentages of male organ donors ranging from 63% to
57% (UNOS, 2001). Because men, on average, die at a younger age than do women, and
younger organs are more likely to be successful for transplantation (Marino, Doyle,
Aldrighetti, Doria, McMichael, Gayowski, Fung, Tzakis, & Starzl, 1995), it is not
surprising that males would make up a greater percentage of the donor pool than do
women and would be an important target group. If women are more willing to donate
their organs than are men, but the actual donor pool from which organs could be
harvested is composed of more men, then targeting males with persuasive campaigns
becomes even more relevant. This is particularly true given a growing body of research
that indicates that gender of the donor affects the survival rate of patients. Studies have
shown that in the case of heart and liver transplantation and to a lesser degree kidney
transplantation, organs donated by women are more likely to be rejected than are those
from men (Lietz, John, Kocher, Schuster, Mancini, Edwards, & Itescu, 2001; Marino et
al., 1995). Related research has shown that, while potential donors are most likely to be
males, the family member making the decision about donation after the death of the
potential donor is more likely to be female (Siminoff et al., 2001). This point is of
special interest if females are more reluctant than males to go against the wishes of the
male partner.


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