Maybe a campaign will make you change your mind?
"The workgroup has identified inadequate patient education as a key obstacle to live donor kidney transplant... Families of patients with kidney failure often do not come forward to donate a kidney for transplant, even to someone they care for, out of fear that donating a kidney may be dangerous."
- Dr Balaji Sadasivan, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts and Health at the launch of National Transplant Awareness Campaign and Donor Appreciation Ceremony 12 Nov 2005
I am sure the intentions are good but I really wonder about the relevance of a campaign to 'raise awareness that living donor kidney transplant is safe for both the donor and recipient'.
You'd imagine that when a patient needs a transplant, the family members are informed about it and educated by the transplant team regarding the benefits and risks. A small, personal, thing. Doctors, transplant co-ordinator and medical social worker sit down together with the immediate family and they discuss the patient's care, the costs, details of the surgery, prognosis, etc. Misconceptions are dispelled, fears are allayed.
Or are our transplant teams doing such a bad job communicating with them on a face-to-face level that we need a publicity campaign to let them know all that?
I just can't imagine someone who has refused to donate a kidney to his brother after seeing him suffer and being educated and counseled at length by the doctors will suddenly change his mind after seeing a poster about how safe the procedure is.
Or a TV ad.
Or a show on which TV personalities perform stunts to persuade people not to opt out of the HOTA.
Nor can I imagine people rushing down to the 'Kidney Bank' after this campaign to donate one of their kidneys, since we only need one (or one-fifth of one, to be precise), even though I am sure that is not the intention of the campaign.
I think it's sad that something as personal as donating a kidney to your family should become the subject of a nation-wide awareness campaign, as if Singaporeans cannot be trusted to make such a decision of sacrifice for their loved one unless it is 'de-personalised' into a media event.