J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Dec;36(49):e329. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e329.

Analysis of Factors Affecting Emergency Physicians’ Attitudes toward Deceased Organ & Tissue Donation

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
  • 3Department of Medical Education, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea
  • 5Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea
  • 6Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Emergency Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea
  • 8Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 9Department of Medical Education, Yonsei University, Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
  • 10Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital, Wonju, Korea


This study aimed to investigate differences in knowledge, and attitudes toward deceased organ and tissue donation of emergency physicians. Additionally, we analyzed factors affecting the attitudes toward deceased organ and tissue donation.
We conducted a survey of specialists and residents registered with the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine in December 2020. The respondents’ sex, age, position, personal registration for organ donation, experience of soliciting organ donation, participation in related education, knowledge, and attitude about brain death organ donation, and attitude toward stopping life-sustaining treatments were investigated. According to the characteristics of the respondents (specialists or residents, experience and education on organ and tissue donation), their knowledge and attitude toward deceased organ donation were compared. Stepwise hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the factors affecting the attitudes toward deceased organ and tissue donation.
Of the total 428 respondents, there were 292 emergency medicine specialists and 136 medical residents. Specialists and those who registered or wished to donate organs had higher knowledge and attitude scores regarding deceased organ and tissue donation. Those who had experience recommending organ and tissue donation more than 6 times had higher knowledge scores on deceased organ and tissue donation and higher overall scores in attitude. Those who received education from the Korean Organ Donation Agency had higher knowledge scores. Specialists, and those who wished to donate or had registered as organ donors and had a higher life-sustaining treatment attitude score and knowledge about deceased organ and tissue donation, had more positive attitudes toward deceased organ and tissue donation.
For more potential deceased organ and tissue donors to be referred for donation, there should be continuous education for emergency physicians on brain-dead organ and tissue donation-related knowledge and procedures. In addition, institutional or systematic improvements that can lead to organ donation when deciding on the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment should be considered.


Brain Death; Tissue and Organ Procurement; Organ Transplantation; Emergency Medicine
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