Arguments for ‘ocular donation’ as standardised terminology to reduce the ‘ick factor’ of ‘eye donation’

Journal of Medical Ethics (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This brief report presents the global problem of the shortfall of donor corneal tissue for transplantation, a potential root cause, and a potential solution. Specifically, use of the term ‘eye donation’ is a potential hurdle to ocular tissue donation as it can stimulate the ‘ick factor.’ Verbiage such as ‘ocular ’ could be a method of providing terminology that is less emotive than ‘eye donor’ or ‘eye donation.’ The field of transplantation has experienced terminology shifts over time; for example, ‘cadaver’ has been replaced with ‘deceased donor,’ ‘harvest’ has been replaced with ‘recover,’ and ‘life support’ has been replaced with ‘ventilated.’ Notably, only a small number of regions worldwide are using ‘ocular’ terminology, yet it could be an important step to enhancing the informed consent process and improving donation rates, potentially increasing transplant and optimising patient quality of life for those with treatable blindness.

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