Attitudes and behavior toward organ donation in Greece

Transplant Proc. 2012 Nov;44(9):2698-701. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.09.017.


Introduction: During the two last decades remarkable progress has been made among transplantations in Greece. However, organ donation remains a controversial issue.

Purpose: To explore and determine factors associated with differences in willingness to donate organs among Greeks.

Methods: We administered a survey to 2263 adults living in the region of Thessaloniki. We studied the incidence of registered donors, their awareness on the subject of brain death and organ donation, their willingness to donate and factors that influence donation of their own and their relatives organs, as well as their feelings about such a decision.

Results: The respondents knew the significance of brain death and organ donation; 3.8% were already registered to be donors. Nearly half of them (48.3%) wanted to become a donor and 49.1% would donate organs of their relatives; 55.7% were afraid of the procedure of organ removal to and 58.3% would feel guilt about gifting the organs of a relative. Women were more prone to become donors (odds ratio 1.95) and parents were more likely to be registered as donors (odds ratio 1.84). About 63.7% of Orthodox Christians wished to become donors. Professional and educational levels were not observed to influence attitudes.

Conclusions: Despite knowledge and willingness regarding organ donation, only a small percentage of Greeks are actually registered to be donors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Altruism
  • Attitude to Death
  • Awareness
  • Brain Death
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Choice Behavior
  • Eastern Orthodoxy / psychology
  • Family Relations
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Gift Giving
  • Greece
  • Guilt
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Organ Transplantation / psychology*
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tissue Donors / psychology*