Profile and Motivations of Registered Whole-Body Donors in Turkey: Istanbul University Experience

Gurses I. A. , Ertas A. , Gurtekin B., Coskun O., Uzel M. , Gayretli O., ...More

ANATOMICAL SCIENCES EDUCATION, vol.12, no.4, pp.370-385, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ase.1849
  • Page Numbers: pp.370-385
  • Keywords: body donation, bequest program, anatomic donor programs, registered body donor, donor demographics, donor motivation, donor profile, Islamic religion, Islamic culture, Muslim body donors, Turkey, MEDICAL-EDUCATION, DONATION PROGRAMS, ORGAN DONATION, DISSECTION COURSE, TEACHING ANATOMY, GROSS-ANATOMY, 1ST PATIENT, CADAVERS, ATTITUDES, BODIES


Little is known regarding the profiles of whole body donors in Muslim majority countries where donation is scarce. Therefore, this study aims to profile registered donors in Turkey by means of a survey. The explored data could be used to improve ongoing campaign efforts and ethical practices such as commemoration services. Registered donors of the donation programs at the two faculties of medicine of Istanbul University were compared with the national population and a cluster analysis was performed to reveal any concealed sub-groups. Data from 188 respondents were analyzed. The majority of registered donors were married (42%), male (65.4%), aged over 50 years (76%), held a tertiary education degree (49.7%), and were irreligious (58.5%). Cluster analysis revealed two groups with significantly different educational levels, marital statuses, and religious choices. Regarding whether their bodies could be used for education or research, the majority (64.5%) of the respondents left the decision to the anatomy department. Similarly, 73.8% approved indefinite use of their organs, body parts and/or skeletons. The respondents were also willing to share their medical history (94.2%) and personal information (81.6%) if needed. Motivational themes for body donation including usefulness, impermanence, religion, awareness, and kinship were devised after a thematic analysis. Among the respondents, 56.5% were registered organ donors and 63.3% were frequent blood donors. The results of this study provide data that may help revising informed consent forms, developing and implementing thanksgiving ceremonies, and selecting additional targets for supporting body donation campaign activities such as organ and blood donation units.