U.S. Public Is Taking Action to Support Organ Donation
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has announced the results of a 2005 Gallup Organization survey that indicates Americans continue to strongly support the donation of organs and tissues for transplantation. More importantly, the survey also finds that far higher percentages of Americans have taken personal actions to become organ donors since a similar 1993 survey on donation.
The percentage of individuals who have granted permission to donate their organs or tissues on a driver’s license or an organ donor card reached 53 percent in 2005, almost double the 28 percent who had done so in 1993. HRSA directs federal efforts to promote donation.
Nearly all of the survey respondents–97 percent–said they would donate a family member’s organs if they knew the person’s wishes ahead of time. The 2005 survey reported that 71 percent of Americans had talked to a family member about their donation wishes, up from 52 percent in 1993.
Gallup also found that among U.S. racial and ethnic groups, Whites (61 percent) in 2005 were most likely to indicate donation on their drivers’ licenses, followed by Latinos and Asians (both at 39 percent), and Blacks (31 percent).
The Gallup Organization’s 2005 National Survey of Organ and Tissue Donation Attitudes and Behaviors queried over 2,000 Americans concerning their attitudes toward donation of organs and tissues for transplantation. The study replicates the 1993 survey and includes new items as well.
HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. HRSA also oversees a national organ and tissue transplantation system.