Exploring the Experiences of African Americans who Have Been Asked to Donate the Organs of a Deceased Loved One
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Exploring the Experiences of African Americans who Have Been Asked to Donate the Organs of a Deceased Loved One


Background: African Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and kidney failure which can lead to organ failure requiring a transplant. Although African Americans comprise approximately thirteen percent of the population, they represent more than thirty percent of people on the transplant waiting lists. Barriers to cadaveric organ donation in this community have been identified in previous research and widely studied. Within the African American community, the identified barriers to organ donation include: medical mistrust, bodily integrity, and religious concerns. These barriers can adversely impact the decision to consent to organ donation when approached.Purpose: This study is being conducted to examine the experiences of African Americans who have been asked to donate the organs of a deceased loved one. Method: An interpretive phenomenological study, N=_19_using semi-structured interviews with African Americans over the age of 18. Paradigm cases are developed from the interview transcripts. These paradigm cases are an analytic approach used to demonstrate the experience of being approached to donate organs after the death of a loved one. Results: The analysis of the interviews shows that the decision of African Americans to consent to donation of a deceased loved one’s organs is informed by relationship. There is meaning in the relationship with the loved one prior to their passing, even when the surviving loved one is conflicted. Analyzing the meaning gives greater understanding of the decision-making process. Conclusion: The outcome of this research is that narrative analysis of the experiences leads to greater understanding of organ donation decision-making in African Americans.

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