|Author(s)||Paul Denvir, Anita Pomerantz|
|Title||A qualitative analysis of a significant barrier to organ and tissue donation: Receiving less-than-optimal medical care|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Medical EMCA, Organ Donation, Medical Care|
A key reason for the shortage of transplantable organs and tissue in the United States is the degree of resistance among the public to donating organs and tissue after death. In this article, we explore a single barrier to donation: the concern that medical personnel might provide “less-than-optimal” care to intended donors. Using 2 qualitative methodologies—analysis of family discussions about donation and analysis of in-depth interviews about donation—we explore what participants' discourse reveals about the variations and texture of this concern. The analysis revealed 4 aspects of this concern: (a) Participants expressed different versions of less-than-optimal care, each reflecting different assumptions about how medical personnel may approach the treatment of potential donors. (b) Participants expressed their concerns by describing hypothetical scenarios of medical treatment. These scenarios were designed to play up the plausibility of receiving less-than-optimal care and situated the speaker as the victim in the scenario. (c) Participants' uncertainty about the quality of medical treatment was sufficient grounds for not donating. (d) Participants expressed their concerns about medical treatment in terms of the perceived corruptibility of sociocultural institutions, including medical institutions. This analysis also revealed the lines of reasoning through which participants overcame a concern about receiving less-than-optimal-care. In our view, the most promising line of reasoning expressed by participants was to trust the legal and procedural protections built into the recovery process.