Talking about organ donation

The importance of talking to family members about organ donation is the research focus for Griffith University’s Dr Melissa Hyde.

Set to speak tomorrow (March 1) as part of DonateLife week 2013 (February 24 – March 3), Dr Hyde, from Griffith’s Behaviourial Basis of Health, will discuss the barriers to family communication about organ donation and how these may be overcome.

“The family of every potential donor is always asked to give their consent to donation if the situation arises,” says Dr Hyde. “Families that do not know the wishes of their loved ones are less likely to give their consent.

Registration is not enough

“Registering to be an organ and tissue donor is not enough. Even if you register your wish to be a donor, your family will still be asked to give consent.” Dr Hyde’s seminar Organ donation: Not something you talk about at the dinner table? will also detail her current research which is looking at young donors’ views on family discussion about the issue.

“We know that young people are the least likely to talk about donation compared with other age groups for a very wide range of reasons.

“We conducted a three phase study of 470 17-25 year old people from SE Queensland – all of which have registered as organ donors – and trialled different methods of encouraging them to discuss the topic with their family.

“We have seen that it is not enough to simply tell people to discuss organ donation; we need to build in reminders and strategies within targeted campaigns to initiate these conversations.”

The majority (86%) of Australians surveyed would agree to donation if they knew their family member was willing to become an organ donor; yet, only 56% of people would agree to donation if the wishes of the deceased were unknown.

DATE: Friday March 1, 3pm
VENUE: Mt Gravatt campus, Griffith University, 176 Messines Ridge Road, Mt Gravatt QLD . Building M24 Room 3.11A. The seminar will also be video-conferenced to Gold Coast Campus, G06 Room 3.60
Please RSVP to [email protected]