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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 2094-2098

Making the decision to donate eyes: Perspectives from the families of the deceased in Madurai, India


1 LAICO, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA; and MCM Eye Unit, Myungsung Christian Medical Center and Myung Sung Medical School, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3 Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
4 SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Ravilla Duraisamy Thulasiraj
72 Kuruvikaran Salai, Annanagar, Madurai - 625 020, Tamilnadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2324_19

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Purpose: To identify factors affecting family members' decision whether to donate eye organs. Methods: A community-based case-control study based on in-home interviews with families of deceased individuals who had or had not donated eye organs, in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India. Data collected were knowledge and awareness of eye donations, whether the deceased individual had expressed or pledged willingness to donate, and family members' attitudes and willingness to donate their own eye organs. Results: Seventy-six families of donors and 256 families of non-donors completed the survey. Multivariable analysis showed that the following variables were significantly associated with a donation: age, whether the deceased had registered for eye donation, pre-expressed willingness of deceased to donate, whether family members personally know beneficiaries of eye donations, and higher score on a scale evaluating knowledge and awareness about eye donation. The majority of donors' families (71%) had been encouraged by someone to donate. Among non-donor families, a substantially larger fraction (52.8%) indicated they would have donated had someone reminded or encouraged them to do so, in comparison with those who indicated lack of awareness or knowledge (14.5%). Conclusion: Community programs are likely to be effective if they encourage individuals to pledge their eyes or express their willingness to donate their eyes to family members in advance of death; they increase public awareness of the value of eye donation. A friend, family member, neighbor or counselor approaching bereaved families and having a dialogue about eye donation would substantially increase the probability of a decision to donate.


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