Koreans are now more open to donating organs or tissues than a year ago, a survey by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) showed Wednesday.
Around 67 percent said they were willing to become a tissue or organ donor, indicating a 25.7 percentage point increase from last year, according to findings of the KCDC survey on 1,000 adults.
The leading reason for not becoming a donor was a reluctance to damage the human body. Others said they would not become a donor because they were scared or because they had not heard of anyone close to them donating.
Regardless of willingness to donate, the survey indicated an increased awareness of both organ and tissue donations. A whopping 98 percent and 45 percent said they were aware of organ and tissue donations, respectively.
The increased awareness comes in part from KCDC efforts to promote the donations from the start of this year, the agency said.
According to the organization, 573 brain-dead patients donated their organs that were used in 2,319 organ transplantations last year. As for tissue donations, the KCDC marked 285 donations from brain-dead or deceased individuals before death.
Although the number of organ and tissue donors in Korea is increasing, the country lags behind that of advanced nations such as U.S. and Spain, the agency said.
The KCDC said it would continue promoting organ and tissue donations in the country next year, adding that more than 30,000 patients are on a waiting list for organ or tissue transplants due to a shortage.
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