The silence of Good Samaritan kidney donation in Australia: a survey of hospital websites
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It is common for living donor candidates to use the Internet as a tool to enhance their decision-making process. Specifically, the websites of transplant hospitals can potentially be a vital source of information for those contemplating living donation. In an effort to explore the low incidence of Good Samaritan kidney donation (donations to strangers) in Australia, two raters conducted a nine-attribute website content analysis for all hospitals which participate in these transplants (n = 15). Overall, the concept of living donation is relatively silent on Australian hospital websites. Only four hospitals mention their living donor program, and only one mentions their Good Samaritan program. No site linked directly to Australia’s AKX Paired Kidney Exchange Program – the only program which facilitates pair and chain transplants in Australia. Further, information about deceased donation is nearly absent as well. An individual with the altruistic desire to donate will generally find scant or absent information about donation at the website of their local transplant hospital, although this information could easily be present as an educational tool which supports the consent process. Using a hospital website to educate the public about a clinical service should not be viewed as ethically problematic (solicitation), but rather an ethical essential.
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