Indo-Canadian beliefs regarding organ donation

Prog Transplant. 2005 Sep;15(3):233-9. doi: 10.1177/152692480501500306.


Context: There is concern that a disproportionately high number of people of South Asian origin await transplantation in Canada. The donation rate is low in this population, and it is difficult to obtain good tissue matches.

Objective: To explore the values and beliefs regarding organ donation among Indo-Canadian people living in British Columbia.

Design: A naturalistic qualitative study was designed. Individual interviews and focus groups were held to collect data pertaining to beliefs regarding organ donation.

Setting: Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada.

Participants: A total of 40 Indo-Canadian persons participated; a wide range of ages, religions, and backgrounds were represented.

Results: The major themes that emerged from the data related to context (including family/community, religion, trust in the healthcare system, and knowledge about organ donation); and values and beliefs (including intergenerational considerations, death and dying, and the organ donation process). Participants noted that people from their community were reluctant to discuss death and relatedissues such as organ donation. Although there was recognition of the importance of individual decision making pertaining to organ donation, the participants believed that family and community members also should be involved.

Conclusions: Beliefs varied considerably among participants, and one should not make assumptions about the beliefs of any one individual based primarily on that individual's membership in an ethnocultural community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia, Western / ethnology
  • Attitude to Death / ethnology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • British Columbia
  • Decision Making
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Family / ethnology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Social Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement
  • Waiting Lists