Religion and the decision to donate organs: Exploring the behaviors of college students and religious leaders
Vincent, Donald E.
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Two studies explored the role of religion in the decision to donate organs. In Study 1, a sample of 340 undergraduate students from public universities in New York State showed no relationship between religiosity and donation behavior. Thirty percent of undergraduates self-reported that religion could play a role in deciding whether or not to donate and only 9% were sure of their denomination's position on organ donation. In Study 2, a sample of 59 religious leaders from a variety of denominations in Rochester, New York was interviewed about organ donation. No leaders claimed that their denominations completely prohibit donation and nearly 90% claimed that they personally support donation in all circumstances. More than one-half of the leaders reported having discussed organ donation with members of their congregations, and nearly 97% claimed that they would feel comfortable discussing organ donation. The current research suggests that religion should be a positive force in the donation cause and religious leaders can play an active role in clearing up confusion about religious stances on organ donation.