MAGAZINE: Campaign launched to get parents talking about organ donation with their kids

Almost 49,000 people in the UK have endured the wait for an organ transplant in the last 10 years with over 6,000 dying before receiving the organ they desperately needed.

Organ donation campaign
Organ donation campaign

And yet only a minority of parents with children aged 18 and under have discussed the subject of organ donation with their immediate family members.

That’s according to new research by charity Live Life Give Life released today which shows that just 40% have spoken to their spouse or partner about their wishes, 19% have spoken to their parents, 15% with their children and merely 9% with their siblings.

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Organ donation is a taboo subject amongst many families until it affects them directly or indirectly. Few people are aware of it and even fewer want to talk about it. In fact many parents would feel more comfortable discussing bullying (65%), racism (57%) cyber bullying (52%) cancer (49%), terrorism (47%) or homophobia (46%) with their kids rather than organ donation (45%).

In contrast, whilst more than 40% of parents said they wouldn’t avoid talking about organ donation with their children, they do worry that their children are too young to be told about this type of subject (29%) and 13% don’t want to upset their children.

2016 marks 45 years since the first kidney donor card was issued and 35 years since the first full donor card, but there is still a chronic shortage of organ donors in this country and particularly child donors as most parents are reluctant to sign their children up to the donor register.

The charity Live Life Give Life has a vision where organ donation is the norm, not the exception. So, in partnership with the creative team at Donroy, The Orgamites have been created to get the conversation started in a positive way. They want to encourage people young and old to discuss and consider organ donation before it affects them. Mr Bone and his seven mighty friends are on a mission to get us talking about organ transplantation in schools and in our homes in an accessible way.

Parenting & Child Behaviour Expert Eileen Hayes and Luke Yates, A Trustee of Live Life Give Life find out why organ donation is something we should all be comfortable with discussing and how to bring up that potentially tricky conversation with younger people.