This article presents a critical review of psychological perspectives on organ donation.
The review considers individual decisions to donate organs posthumously and next-of-kin
consent decisions. A theoretical analysis of intention to donate is presented for
both types of donation decisions, and the literature is reviewed within the context
of the proposed framework. Donation decisions are examined as a function of attitude
toward donation and the religious, cultural, altruistic, normative, and knowledge-based
beliefs that comprise the attitude. Consent decisions are primarily influenced by
prior knowledge of the deceased individual's wishes. An alternative conceptual model
is offered to explain the basis of consent decisions in the absence of this knowledge.
Suggestions are offered to improve measurement strategy and to guide theoretically
based organ donation research within selected disciplines of psychology.