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Confusion appears to exist among healthcare professionals working outside of Intensive Care Units regarding the concepts of brain death and organ donation.

According to research data, presented at the 12th Scientific Conference of the Department of Medicine, AUTH, most health professionals (percentage 71.8%) do not consider that the brain death and death is the same. However, 63.6% do not think so euthanasia the disconnection of mechanical support in the brain dead, while a 20% believe it is euthanasia.

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The specific research, entitled “Brain death and organ donation. Knowledge and opinions of health professionals outside the Intensive Care Units”, of the head of the 1st ICU of the Papanikolaou hospital, Anastasia Bikoulis, was based on the answers given by health professionals outside the ICU units to 110 questionnaires. The purpose of the survey was to explore the knowledge and views of health professionals outside intensive care units regarding brain death and organ donation.

Large percentage against donating for religious reasons

Regarding organ donation, of those who stated that they did not wish to become an organ donor after death, 35% justified this by stating that this was due to religious reasons.

36.4% of survey participants claimed that a law which would give the state the right to access the organs of a brain-dead person without requiring prior approval would be an abuse of power. But 30% responded that such a law might be an effective way to ensure organs are not wasted. 17.3% believe that this law would be an insult to the dead and their relatives.

“A fairly large percentage of the participants answered that they do not support organ donation, because of the view of our church, which is not clear and does not show its practical support for transplants. If the Greek Orthodox Church showed its support for organ donation, then it would be as if it were giving its consent and the “green light” to all its believers and thus dispelling any misgivings that may exist. It is sad to lose organs, which could offer a second quality chance of life to our fellow human beings, because there is not the right information to health professionals, but also from health professionals to citizens”, he pointed out, during the presentation of the research, Ms. Bikoulis.

Information is required

Regarding whether they consider that the EOM she should be more active in her part information through municipalities and communities, with excursion programs throughout Greece, on the subject of organ donation, percentage 94.5% he answered positively.

“Organized information with excursion programs, publication of printed informational material, to health professionals could clear up the confusion that seems to exist in important concepts. What is becoming clear is that there is a demand for information from the EOM. A campaign could be created, which would focus on where primary care is offered and would be able to reach all ages, as well as educational levels of people. Health professionals who would like to participate in these public education programs could observe, in real conditions, the process from the diagnosis of brain death next to the coordinators, to the final retrieval of the organs, next to the transplant team. This way they would have a complete picture of all the procedures and clinical trials followed for the donation and transplant process. In this way, they would manage to “exorcise” his own demons, as well as those of the citizens, regarding the controversial chapter of organ donation in our country”, added Ms. Bikoulis.