Ann Rayburn, senior manager of professional education for the Alabama Organ Center, said the disparity is not a result of African-Americans donating in numbers lower than their share of the population.
"You can go to an African-American church, and everybody knows somebody who's been on dialysis," Rayburn
"It's that prevalent."
Among those who do hesitate to register as donors, many are motivated by one of two concerns, Rayburn
A significant number of people believe that organ donors get substandard care in emergency departments, because doctors are anxious to recover donor organs; others believe their faith bars them from donating.
Some level of mistrust in the black community may be related to the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments, in which federal researchers, even into the 1970s, misled and failed to treat African-American subjects with syphilis.
said mistrust in the medical establishment is cited as a reason for not donating by people of all races.
The truth, Rayburn
said, is that emergency departments contact organ banks only after life-saving efforts have been exhausted, and most major religions explicitly allow donations or take no position on the matter.