By KENTA NOGUCHI/ Staff Writer
January 13, 2022 at 07:30 JST
An organ transplant consent form on the back of a Japanese driver’s license (Kenta Noguchi)
Nearly 70 percent of people who are interested in organ transplants learned about the issue from consent forms on driver’s licenses and health insurance cards, according to a Cabinet Office survey.
The consent forms were included on licenses and cards issued after the revised Organ Transplant Law took effect in July 2010.
“The results this time likely reflect the fact that driver’s licenses have been renewed over the course of 10 years following the legal revision,” said an official of the health ministry’s medical transplant promotion bureau.
At the behest of the health ministry, the Cabinet Office in September sent questionnaires to 3,000 randomly selected individuals nationwide aged 18 or older. Valid responses were received from 1,705, or 57 percent.
Around 65.5 percent of the respondents are interested in “organ transplantation.”
Allowed to choose multiple answers, most of those respondents, or 67.2 percent, said they learned about the issue through “the consent forms on health insurance cards or driver’s licenses,” while 48.9 percent chose coverage “on TV and radio,” and 24.4 percent cited “newspapers and magazines.”
In addition, 13.1 percent of them learned about organ transplants through “conversations with my family.”
In the previous survey in August 2017, 56.4 percent showed an interest in organ transplants. Of them, 57.0 percent became curious through TV or radio shows, while 31.6 percent cited the consent forms.
The Cabinet Office said it has “no intention to make a simple comparison” between the latest poll undertaken by mail amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and past surveys conducted through direct interviews.
According to the latest poll, 10.2 percent of respondents have already expressed their intentions on whether they want to donate their organs or not.
Of them, a total of 39.5 percent said they “fully” or “somewhat” want to provide organs when they are diagnosed as brain-dead.
The numbers were similar to those in the previous survey.
About 90 percent said they will “surely” or “probably” respect the intentions expressed by family members concerning their organs after they die.
According to the survey, 13.5 percent of respondents said that they “really” wanted to learn details of organ transplants if they or their family members were hospitalized. The rate was 52.7 percent for those who wanted to learn “to some extent.”
The findings were published on the Cabinet Office’s website at (https://survey.gov-online.go.jp/r03/r03-ishoku/) on Dec. 10.
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