Examining relationships between deceased organ donation, gift exchange theory and religion : perpectives of Luton Polonia
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AbstractCurrently there is a critical shortage of transplantable organs in the UK. The existing evidence base highlights that cultural and religious norms can hinder familial consent and uptake of registration as an organ donor, particularly within ethnic minority groups. There is a dearth of information relating to the Polish community in the UK. Since the expansion of the European Union and the potential and consequent economic migration of Poles to the UK, this community presents a potential significant contribution to the active transplant waiting list, NHS Organ Donor Register and requests made for organs for donation on behalf of a relative. The aim of the study was to examine in depth, the perceptions of the relationship between deceased organ donation, gift exchange and religion. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, grounded theory methodology was used and one to one interviews were carried out with 31 participants who were recruited using a purposive convenience sampling strategy. This approach allowed for the collection of rich and deep data in a hitherto under-researched issue with the Polish community in the UK. To contextualise the key findings of the relationship, an in-depth analysis of settlement patterns, helping behaviour and experiences of and attitudes toward religion was conducted. The relationship between religion and gift-exchange was perceived to interact in different ways with deceased organ donation depending on the context. For the individual making an end-of-life choice, gift exchange impacted on the perception of the organ as a gift and whether reciprocity was expected, religion shaped views of the need for the body after death and social and cultural norms influenced the view of the 'typical' donor and family discussion of donation. For the relatives, social, religious and cultural norms impacted on death rituals and the conceptualisation of the dead body and experiences of a relative's death. This study contributes to an understanding of the social, cultural and religious norms toward deceased organ donation from a Polish perspective and the implications for policy, health promotion and clinical practice.
CitationSharp, C. (2012) 'Examining relationships between deceased organ donations, gift exchange theory and religion'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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