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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Knowledge and attitude of medical students on brain death and organ donation

  • Elamurugan Tirthar Palanivelu1,
  • Sudarshanan Sundaramurthi1,
  • Shanmugam Dasarathan1,
  • Sreenath Gubbi Shamana1 and
  • Vikram Kate1Email author
International Journal of Emergency Medicine20147(Suppl 1):O5

Published: 25 July 2014


Public HealthInternal MedicineMedical StudentEmergency MedicineSocial Factor


To assess the knowledge, attitudes of medical students regarding brain death and organ donation from brain dead.


The study was conducted among the final year medical students of JIPMER, Puducherry using a 22-item questionnaire during the academic year 2013.


A total of 90 questionnaires were assessed. Based on the students’ response the following opinions were noted. 25% of students believed brain death is equal to human death. 91% students responded that there is no treatment for brain dead patients. 62% of students accepted the concept of brain death. Religious and social reasons were the commonest reason for non-acceptance of brain death among the students. 97% of students believe that organ donation can save a life. 93% of students think that there is difference between organ transplantation from brain dead and cadaver. In students’ opinion, mutilation of the body was found to be the main reason for not accepting organ removal from brain dead patients.


Religious and social factors were the major hindering factors for acceptance of brain death and organ donation. Knowledge of brain death and organ donation was lacking among medical students.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India


© Palanivelu et al; licensee Springer 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.