Malaysia's organ and tissue donation rates are among the lowest in the world. The study aims to explore the knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviors regarding deceased organ donation and transplantation in the diverse ethnic communities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
Sauropus androgymus (SA), a vegetable of the Euphorbiaceae family, is a common food source in Malaysia. In Taiwan, over 30 patients have developed progressive respiratory failure after consuming the extract from raw SA leaves as a means of losing weight. Symptoms consistent with a severe obstructive ventilatory defect progressed, despite cessation of SA intake and treatment with bronchodilators, corticosteroids, cytotoxic agents and plasmaphresis. Five patients with end-stage Sauropus androgynus-induced bronchiolitis obliterans (SABO) syndrome underwent lung transplantation. There was no early mortality. One patient died of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder and another patient died of bronchial stenosis with infection, 5 and 3.5 months, respectively, post-transplantation. The remaining 3 patients have been followed from 29 to 34 months, with improved general condition and pulmonary function. Perfusion/ventilation scans revealed that these improvements were exclusively attributed to the functional grafts. We believe that lung transplantation is the only effective modality of treatment for patients with end-stage SABO syndrome.
A sample of Malaysians in the Klang Valley indicating their decision on becoming unrelated living kidney donors was surveyed regarding huge amounts of financial incentives to be rewarded to them. From the 1310 respondents, 72.1% said "no" on becoming a living donor. The reason "I don't think humans can live with only one kidney" scored the highest (35.6%), and from the 27.9% of the respondents who are willing to donate their organ with the right financial incentive, most of the respondents picked the reasons "I want to do something noble in life" (50%), and monetary reason scored the lowest (6.2%), indicating that financial incentive is not a major reason guiding individuals' decision on becoming living donors. We suggest that the government should put priority at targeting public education to raise the understanding on the risk, safety and the quality of life of donation and transplantation, and improving the public trust on the donation and the surgical methods to carry out transplantation.
Malaysians indicating that they did not intend to become organ donors upon their death were surveyed regarding interest in non-fungible financial incentives to be granted to surviving family members. Among the 730 (56% of the total sample of 1311) indicating unwillingness to be donors, 29.6% (216/730) subsequently indicated that they would be willing donors if the government introduced policies that, upon their death, "rewarded your (their) family with incentives for your (their) deeds." Among the 69% (504/730) who insisted that they would not become organ donor even with incentive, nearly 80% (404/501) of them were able to identify relevant incentives they thought should be provided by the state to those who make organ donations upon death. The majority of both groups preferred the state provide medical benefits to a surviving family member, suggesting this may be an attractive policy option for the state to raise the deceased organ donation pool.