Liver transplant recipients’ reflections on organ donors and organ donation: a preliminary analysis

Bethli Vivienne Wainwright


This article discusses preliminary findings from phenomenological research into the lived experience of liver transplant recipients in New Zealand, focusing on their views about the organ donor, the donor family, and organ donation more generally. It examines data collected during two phases of research; phase one, comprising seventeen qualitative interviews with transplant recipients across New Zealand, and phase two, which entailed a qualitative survey sent to 180 potential research participants. A brief background to liver transplantation in New Zealand is provided, followed by an outline of the eligibility criteria used to select participants for this research. The perspectives of liver transplant recipients are then explored through the themes of the donated liver as a gift, gratitude, what information recipients have about their donor families, communication with donor families, and conceptions of liver transplantation as a transformative experience.


transplantation, organ donation, transplant recipients, phenomenology

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