Quantitative Survey of Laypersons' Attitudes Toward Organ Transplantation in Japan

T. Okita, E. Hsu, K. Aizawa, H. Nakada, W. Toya, K. Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In comparison with foreign countries, living-organ transplantations (LOT) have been performed more frequently than dead organ transplants, including brain-dead organ transplantation (BOT) in Japan. This situation has given rise to organ transplantation tourism. Therefore, we clarify laypersons' preferences regarding organ transplantation that are producing the current situation in Japan, to suggest a possible framework for further efforts. Methods: Voluntary completion of a quantitative and anonymous survey was promoted online (a sample size of 1030). The questionnaire had two types of variables concerning demographic characteristics and organ transplantation–related issues. Results: LOT was favored over BOT. However, for willingness to donate to family members, the participants showed a significantly more positive attitude toward brain-dead organ donors (BODs) than living organ donors (LODs). In the evaluation of each transplantation technology, BOT and LOT were positioned in the middle, between transplantation that does not depend on others and the utilization of animal organs. Conclusions: Although LOT was favored over BOT, for participants hypothesized to be in a position to donate and receive organs, BODs received a conversely better reputation than LODs. Our survey and discussion suggest that the present conditions of organ transplantation in Japan might be because there is a lack of deliberation on transplantation tourism and LOT. Therefore, more surveys concerning LOT cases and the implications of avoidance of organs from brain-dead bodies, coupled with more discussions based on these surveys, are necessary to formulate a Japanese transplantation policy for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


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