Friday, April 14, 2006

Television Shows On Organ Donors Are Killing People

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – The writers and producers of popular TV shows need a brain transplant – their stories about organ donors are so inaccurate, they are virtually killing people who need donations.

So says Susan Morgan, PhD, an associate professor of communications at Purdue University, who has taken to combating popular myths through a workplace public health campaign.

Morgan says shows like Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, E.R., House, Crossing Jordan and CSI all have plotlines featuring “wildly, bizarrely impossible medical scenarios” involving organ donors.

According to Morgan’s research, the most prevalent myth is corruption in the organ procurement process, as propagated by recent episodes of One Life to Live and House.

In Morgan’s words: “The really scary part is when we talked to real-life family members who were initially reluctant to [approve organ donations]... they’d eventually start reciting these TV plots as reasons why they were frightened.”

Morgan argues that the show producers know better, but “they still refuse to stop airing these scenarios because perpetuating them” makes for higher ratings.

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