Organ Donors' Narratives: Transformative Learning Fostered through Organ Donation




Henry, Nicholas R.

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The approach for organ donation consent is a complicated process for family members of the deceased. While family members are provided medical information, it is not known how they process this information and if learning occurs, especially if this information conflicts with their previous beliefs about brain death and organ donation. Transformative learning was used as a theoretical framework to provide insight into the learning during the organ donation consent process. Developed by Jack Mezirow, transformative learning involves learning that occurs following a disorienting event such as a loss of a family member. Transformative learning takes place when an unexpected event occurs causing someone to critically reflect on their previous understanding and/or beliefs. During the organ donation consent process, family members must comprehend the results of the brain death testing and additional information provided by the intensive care physicians and organ recovery coordinators. The following research questions were explored: 1) What do surviving family members learn though the process of organ donation, and 2) in what ways might transformative learning manifest for surviving family members during and following the organ donation process?



organ donation, transformative learning, education


Henry, N. R. (2023). Organ donors' narratives: Transformative learning fostered through organ donation. Poster presented at the Health Scholar Showcase, Translational Health Research Center, San Marcos, Texas.


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