Relation Between Intensity of Religious Practices and Organ Donation in Poland

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BackgroundAcceptance of organ donation in the face of sudden death of a loved one is stressful for the relatives. In such circumstances, it is very valuable to know the opinion of the deceased on the matter. If this knowledge is unavailable, religion and opinions of spiritual leaders could be a of guidance in the process of making the decision regarding organ donation.AimEstablish the relation between religiousness and disposition to prosocial behaviors measured by organ donation in Polish population.MethodsThe axis for this survey was the split of the territory of Poland according to a quantitative index of religiousness referred further as percentage of dominicantes. The term describes number of people participating in weekly religious practices. Values above 40% were qualified as high dominicantes (HD), while those below labeled as low dominicantes (LD). Above mentioned setting was used as background for analysis of transplantation activity in Poland’s administrative regions (voivodeships n=16) in years 2014‐2015. Data taken to comparison were numbers of actual organ donors, recipients rates, people on waiting lists, count of objections in national register. All indices were converted to per million population (pmp).ResultsProposed extrapolation of the index describing religiousness on the map of Poland has split it into two parts: low domicantes (LD; n=8) and high domincantes.Superimposing on that the data of transplantation acitvity yielded results as follows: in analyzed years actual donor rate in LD/HD regions were: 16,06 vs.13,91(p=0.64);14,83 vs.10,90(p=0,08),respectively. Rate of organ recipients reached 43 vs.36 pmp (p=0.06), respectively. Parallely objections rate for LD/HD regions reached 669/475 pmp (p=0.028).ConclusionsDespite fluctuations in donations rate year by year, analysis revealed correlation between religiousness and geography of organ procurement in Poland. Donations indices were lower in regions with higher religiousness. Further research on identification of correlates important for this tendency in homogenous denomitional society is warranted.References1. Saroglou V., 2013 Religion, spirituality and altruism. APA Handbook of Psychology, religion and spirituality, Washington DC,439-457.2. Institute for Catholic Church Statistics and National Center for Culture (ICCS) Indices of dominicantes i communicantes upon dioceses in 2014 year. Available from: (accessed February 2016).3. Shariff, A.F, Willard, A.K, Andersen, T.,Norenzayan A., 2016.Religious Priming: A Meta-Analysis With a Focus on Prosociality. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 20,27-48.

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