Attitudes of Undergraduate South African Students towards Body Donation

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B. Z. De Gama; T. T. Bhengu & K. S. Satyapal


A better understanding of students’ attitudes towards body donation, their role as potential donors and their preparedness to support body donation activities may help in the preparation of body donor programme strategies. The aim of the study was to determine the willingness to self-donate, and the religious and cultural beliefs on body donation in a sample of South African undergraduate students. A cross-sectional study was conducted on Black African undergraduate students of two schools in their first to third years of study in a South African University between 2014 and 2015. Four hundred and twenty questionnaires were administered. A total of three hundred and seventy-two students completed the questionnaire. A low proportion of the respondents (14.7 %) were willing to self-donate with the prevalent reason being to aid anatomical teaching. Religious beliefs were the predominant reason for unwillingness to self-donate. In addition, a low percentage of the students reflected that their religious (8.7 %) and cultural (4.1 %) beliefs permitted whole body donation. In conclusion, this study shares insights into the attitudes of undergraduate students towards body donation. For future body donation programmes, this group might not be a possible pool for such programmes. However, this group of students can assist in spreading the message to the public as they had very good knowledge about issues surrounding body donation.

KEY WORDS: Student; Body donation; Willingness; Religious; Cultural.

How to cite this article

DE GAMA, B. Z.; BHENGU, T. T & SATYAPAL, K. S. Attitudes of undergraduate South African students towards body donation. Int. J. Morphol., 36(1):130-134, 2018.