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Number of Americans willing to donate organs rises, but still not keeping pace with need
Date:4/4/2010

According to a new survey by Donate Life America, 43 percent of people are undecided, reluctant or do not wish to have their organs and tissue donated after their deaths. While an improvement over findings from a similar survey last year in which 50 percent reported the same, the statistic illustrates a critical need to continue to increase the level of support for organ donation to save the lives of the more than 105,000 adults and children on the transplant waiting list in the U.S., an average 18 of whom die each day waiting.

The survey uncovered reasons for registering and not registering. Among respondents who report being registered donors, the reason provided by more than half (53 percent) is to help others in need. For the undecided, reluctant or those who do not wish to have their organs and tissue donated, the most common reasons were not being sure they'd be acceptable donors (19 percent), haven't decided (15 percent) and want to keep their organs and be buried whole (8 percent).

"We are encouraged by the increased willingness of Americans to register as donors," says Donate Life America Chair Helen Bottenfield. "With the huge and growing need for organs, our hope is to save the greatest possible number of lives." April is National Donate Life month and Donate Life America is encouraging people to visit www.donatelife.net or www.facebook.com/donatelife to learn more and to register.

The online survey of 5,100 U.S. adults, which was supported by Astellas Pharma US, Inc., also uncovered some pervasive myths regarding donation. For example, the majority (52 percent) of respondents were open to the idea that doctors may not try as hard to save their lives if their wish to be organ donors is known, and 61 percent are open to the idea that it is possible for a brain dead person to recover from his or her injuries. In addition, 8 per
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Contact: Lauren McDonnell
lmcdonnell@golinharris.com
312-729-4233
GolinHarris International
Source:Eurekalert  

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