Experiences of the families concerning organ donation of a family member with brain death

Hojatollah Yousefi, Asieh Roshani, Fatemeh Nazari



Background: In recent years, the lack of organ for transplantation has resulted in health planners and authorities in all countries, including Iran, paying serious attention to the issue. Despite the above-mentioned fact, families with a member affected by brain death are not interested in organ donation.

Objective: This study is aimed at making an investigation into the decision-making process of organ donation in families with brain death. Also, the research is aimed at investigating how the deterrent and facilitating factors in the process of organ donation can be made.

Materials and Methods: The current research is a qualitative study with descriptive exploratory approach. Data were collected through unstructured interviews with 10 family members who gave consent to organ donation of their family members in 2012. Purposeful sampling processes began in March 2012 and lasted up to June 2012. Simultaneously, thematic approach was used in analyzing the data.

Results: Data analysis led to fi nding 24 categories and 11 themes, which fell into two categories: facilitating and deterrent factors. The fi ve main deterrent themes included the fi ve themes of prohibiting factors that were shock, hope for recovery, unknown process, and confl ict of opinions, and worrying association. The six main facilitating themes included humanistic desires, immortality, culture making, satisfaction of the deceased, assurance, and eternal honor.

Conclusion: The fi ndings indicated that there is ambiguity and different interpretations on brain death. The research also showed that using the experiences of donator families can provide practical and applied solutions to facilitate the process of organ donation and solve the problems faced by the health care system.

Key words: Brain death, family, organ donation

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