Published: 3 June 2024| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/9786t8ksb9.2
Hicran Karataş


Occupational Experiences of Transplant Surgeons: Identifying Cultural and Folkloric Barriers to Cadaveric Organ Donations in Turkey In our study, we conducted in-depth interviews with 21 transplant surgeons from various educational and research hospitals across Turkey. The objective was to explore their occupational experiences and understand the cultural and folkloric barriers that hinder cadaveric organ donations. Key Findings Cultural Sensitivities: Many surgeons highlighted the profound impact of cultural beliefs on organ donation. The sanctity of the body in many Turkish communities leads to reluctance in consenting to organ donation. Surgeons noted that families often resist the idea of organ retrieval from deceased relatives due to the belief that the body should remain intact for the afterlife. Folkloric Beliefs: Folkloric narratives and myths play a significant role in shaping public perception. Some communities hold the belief that organ donation may lead to a loss of identity or dishonor the deceased. These deeply rooted beliefs often result in families refusing to consider organ donation.


Steps to reproduce

Designing qualitative research to understand the cultural dimensions of organ transplantation and insufficient organ donations, our research team engaged extensively with transplant surgeons.We accompanied them through clinical activities such as patient consultations, medical assessments, interdisciplinary meetings, and in-depth interviews with healthcare providers and recipients. Drawing from past experiences, we sought whether transplant surgeons encountered demands and challenges rooted in health illiteracy, cultural norms, or folklore, extending beyond the conventional clinical duties and ethical responsibilitiesTo do so, we facilitated semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face interviews and added several questions to investigate the cultural factors crucial to performing transplant surgery. During the interviews, we inquired whether surgeons encountered particularly challenging situations with their patients solely influenced by culture and folklore and how they handled these challenges to meet their needs. The informants' responses came up with the personal experience narratives of transplant surgeons, highlighting how cultural competency significantly impacts the success of transplant surgery. Additionally, we facilitated observation notes recorded at the end of each day throughout our fieldwork. Our engagement with surgeons involved closely following their daily schedules, commencing at 6:30 in the morning and concluding when they departed from the hospital premises.


Bartin Universitesi


Organ Transplantation, Medical Sociology, Sociology Method, Medical Anthropology