Author(s): B. S. Payghan, Swapna S. Kadam, Sameeya Furmeen
Every personal bereavement hides an even larger tragedy as many lives could have been saved by just a single pledge to donate organs. The present study was conducted to emphasize this attitude among medical students who are the future hopes to improve the poor scenario of organ donation in our society. The aim of this study is to determine the awareness, perception and willingness for organ donation among the medical students. A cross-sectional study with purposive sampling was conducted in medical students of Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India. After obtaining consent, information was collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Out of the 340 students, 46 % were male and 54 % were female. Awareness about organ donation was very good in 11.77 %, good in 75.29 % and poor in 12.94 %, with predominant source of information being the media/internet (40 %). Majority (86.76 %) knew that organ donation is legal in India. 75.29 % were aware of the shortage of organs. 97.65 % knew that kidney can be donated, 81 % knew cornea, liver and heart can be donated and only 32 % knew that lungs and pancreas can be donated. Positive perception towards organ donation was seen in 50.29 % and 68.82 % were ready to become organ donors. More willingness for organ donation was seen among females. Overall awareness about organ donation was good, but still fifty percent students had negative perception. Most of them knew about kidney donation, but not much of other organs like lungs and pancreas. Positive attitude towards organ donation could be enhanced among the students by including it in the medical curriculum so that it will also improve the perception of the entire community in the long run and slowly work up in narrowing the vast shortage of organs in India.