University Students’ vs. Lay People’s Perspectives on Organ Donation and Improving Health Communication in Poland

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Wojciech Boratyński
Grażyna Bączek
Agnieszka Dyzmann-Sroka
Agnieszka Jędrzejczak
Aleksandra Kielan
Paulina Mularczyk-Tomczewska
Ewa Nowak
Małgorzata Steć
Mariusz Szynkiewicz


Given that organ transplant is a standard medical technology admitted in medical practice, and taking into consideration that Polish transplantology is regarded among the most advanced in the world one should expect to find similarly high levels of acceptance in interviewees asked for their opinion on vital organ transplantation and their willingness to donate a paired organ ex vivo, or a vital organ ex mortuo in order to rescue the life of a recipient with a missing vital organ. The paper presents research build on the societal assessment of vital organ donation and transplant policies in Poland with the focus on students. Data have been collected at three different universities (Boratyński et al., Questionnaire on the Bases of Transplantation Medicine 2016/7). Various assessments concerning a vital organ donation have been observed. The authors discuss educational factors contributing to these variety including factual knowledge and ethical issues.


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Boratyński, W., Bączek, G., Dyzmann-Sroka, A., Jędrzejczak, A., Kielan, A., Mularczyk-Tomczewska, P., Nowak, E., Steć, M., & Szynkiewicz, M. (2019). University Students’ vs. Lay People’s Perspectives on Organ Donation and Improving Health Communication in Poland. ETHICS IN PROGRESS, 9(2), 99-117.
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Author Biographies

Wojciech Boratyński, Warsaw Medical University

Wojciech Boratyński - PhD, employed at the Department of Public Health at the Medical University of Warsaw. He conducts lectures and seminars on the organization and management of health care and health policy. A neurosurgeon specialist since 1984 (for nearly 30 years a member of the committee on the permanent irreversible cessation of brain function).


Grażyna Bączek, Warsaw Medical University

Grażyna Bączek - PhD, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. Area of scientific interest: promotion of reproductive health, quality of maternity care, patient satisfaction, education and professional practice of midwives. Selected publications: G. Bączek et al., "Extended Breastfeeding in Poland: Knowledge of Health Care Providers and Attitudes on Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy" (2018); "Prenatal Palliative Care" (2018); "Perception of Natural Methods of Recognition of Fertility by Students of Medical, Technical and Catholic Universities" (2018); G. Bączek & E. Dmoch-Gajzlerska, "Independent Midwifery Practice in Poland – Legal Considerations vs. Reality" (2012).


Agnieszka Dyzmann-Sroka, Medical University, Poznań.

Agnieszka Dyzmann-Sroka - MD, Head of the Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention Department at the Greater Poland Cancer Center in Poznań, Poland. Former Commissioner for Patients' Rights, Head of the Provincial Coordination Center for the Population-Based Breast Cancer Early Detection Program, Head of the Office of the Primary Prevention Program for Greater Poland. In 2008 she completed a post-graduate program in Scientific Research Methodology at the Postgraduate Education Department, at University of Medical Sciences, Poznań. Member of several scientific journal boards, author of many studies in the area of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention, distinguished with a Bronze Cross of Merit for her services to the State.


Agnieszka Jędrzejczak, Greater Poland Cancer Center in Poznań.

Agnieszka Jędrzejczak - Head of the Cancer Prevention Unit at Greater Cancer Center in Poznań, Poland. Her main activity is health education of teenagers, students and eldery people. She co-authored numerous publications including „Programms of health. Effective prevention” and „European Code against cancer as the recipe for healthy life”. Member of Society of Public Health in Greater Poland.

Contact: agnieszka

Aleksandra Kielan, Warsaw Medical University.

Aleksandra Kielan - PhD candidate at Medical University of Warsaw, Faculty of Health Science, Public Health Division. Member of Polish Suicidology Society and Office Director in Obywatele Zdrowo Zaangażowani Foundation. She is an author of numerous articles related to mental health and suicide prevention. She is currently working on the study about male depression in Poland.


Paulina Mularczyk-Tomczewska, Warsaw Medical University

Paulina Mularczyk-Tomczewska - doctoral student at the Department of Public Health at the Medical University of Warsaw and third year student of law at the University of Warsaw.

Her scientific interests focus on issues related to medical law, in particular the regulation of organ transplantation in Poland and around the world.


Ewa Nowak, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Ewa Nowak - Professor and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Dept. of Philosophy, AMU of Poznan, Poland, was formerly (2008/10) visiting professor at the University of Konstanz (Germany) and the University of Bern (Switzerland). She authored and coedited several books including Educating Competencies for Democracy (2013, with B. Zizek and D. Schrader), Kohlberg Revisited (2015, with B. Zizek and D. Garz), and Experimental Ethics (2013). Her research area encompasses ethics, moral and legal philosophy.  


Małgorzata Steć, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Cracow.

Małgorzata Steć - Ph.D. in philosophy (ethics), clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist and developmental psychologist, ethicist and an IB-Programme teacher, certified teacher of the Konstanz Method of Dilemma-Discussion (KMDD®). Currently working on dissertation in at the Jagiellonian University. Head of the Department of Ethics of Psychologists at the Institute of Psychology of the Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow in Poland.


Mariusz Szynkiewicz, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Mariusz Szynkiewicz - PhD and Deputy Dean for student affairs at Faculty of Social Science, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His research area is philosophy of science with the focus on philosophy of technology. Contact: 


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