Consumers generally show strong support for organ and tissue donation programs

Survey findings suggest that participants understand the need for more registered donors
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

While it’s certainly no secret that organ and tissue donations can be beneficial to both patients and the medical research community, a new study sought to gauge consumers’ attitudes about the process. 

Researchers from the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) found an overwhelmingly positive response, as the majority of consumers support the use of organs and tissues for both research and donation purposes. 

“Consistent with other surveys we’ve commissioned on other topics, the public tells us they place a high value on medical research,” said Mary Woolley, CEO and President of Research!America. “Americans believe in the hope research presents to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Organ and tissue research offer a unique opportunity to drive innovative discoveries and find solutions to what ails us.” 

Promoting scientific research

NDRI conducted a survey of Americans across the country to determine their general attitudes and beliefs regarding organ and tissue donation. Overall, survey respondents had positive attitudes about organ and tissue donation, both for transplant and research purposes. 

For starters, the overwhelming majority of participants -- over 90 percent -- were in agreement that these donations can change patients’ lives and lead to groundbreaking research discoveries. Moreover, nearly 80 percent of participants believed organ or tissue donation to be an admirable act. 

However, despite their support, just over half of the participants were registered donors, and nearly 30 percent of those who weren’t registered weren’t sure why that was the case. 

The future is promising, though, as over 80 percent of the survey respondents cited concern over the current number of organ donors. This group understood that more registered donors are crucial to the future of organ and tissue donation. 

Moving forward, NDRI hopes to continue spreading knowledge and awareness about organ and tissue donation while maintaining its spot as a leader in this field. Based on the survey responses, it has the support of consumers across the country. 

“The gifts of organ and tissue donations are selfless acts of generosity that provide opportunities to advance discovery, improve health, and save lives,” said Bill Leinweber, President and CEO of NDRI. “For forty years, NDRI has been a world leader in the procurement and distribution of organs and tissues for research across a full spectrum of diseases and disorders. Knowing that the public values this research and wants us to continue to do more of it means that we have to tell more of our story.” 

Media Contacts

Robert Shalett
Director of Communications 
571-482-2737

Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco