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The meanings of organ donation : Muslims of Pakistani origin and white English nationals living in North England

By C. Hayward and A. Madill


This study explores the meanings of organ donation, with emphasis on donating eyes and hearts, comparing people across gender and across two ethnic groups. Four focus group interviews were conducted with people living in the North of England: (1) five Muslim women of Pakistani origin, (2) five Muslim men of Pakistani origin, (3) nine white English women, and (4) eight white English men. The focus group interviews were analysed using grounded theory and a conceptual micro-model created for each group. The main finding was that the act of organ donation can be perceived as involving a personal cost. The Muslims of Pakistani origin related costs with their religious beliefs. In contrast, the white English associated costs with their distrust of the medical system. Women were concerned about the transmission of disease or of personality, whereas the white English men highlighted their personal rights. We conclude that the meaning of organ donation is more than about being and having a body. It is bound up in metaphors of embodiment, religious considerations, and moral judgement of scientific and medical conduct

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:1478

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