Chennai

An initiative to bust myths on organ donation

A Tamil movie starring actor Sivakarthikeyan portrays a hospital administering carbon monoxide to patients to render them brain dead for harvesting organs. “Breathe”, a web television series starring actor Madhavan shows registered organ donors being murdered for organs.

How films and television portray organ donation and transplantation is crucial as it could influence public view, experts said. When such myths are portrayed, it was important to create a force to counter them, said Sunil Shroff, managing trustee of MOHAN Foundation, an NGO working for promotion of organ donation.

Huge challenge

“These myths are a huge challenge. We will be creating a collective on social media to bust absurd ideas portrayed in television and movies. These create a fear in the minds of the people,” he said. In a step towards this, the foundation on Saturday organised a masterclass on social media for organ donation and transplantation.

“We need to combat myths with facts,” added Sumana Navin, course director, MOHAN foundation. “Portrayal of organ donation and transplantation in films and television can affect public view. It can instil positive attitude, inform and educate and motivate people,” she said.

The group discussed how campaigns can be carried out on Facebook to battle “untruths” as portrayed in this Tamil movie or the web television series. “For instance, we should put forward the fact that we do not have carbon monoxide pipes in hospitals. It is never used in hospitals,” Dr. Shroff added.

A session on organ soliciting was also held as part of the workshop. Sanjeev Nair, a nephrologist, pointed out to Facebook posts on kidneys available for transplant. “We need to say that this is a fake message and should not be spread. We should add that this is not how organ donation and organ allocation happens. We can also put up a pinned post saying that our page will not entertain posts that seek to solicit buying and selling of organs,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 1:47:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/an-initiative-to-bust-myths-on-organ-donation/article26227022.ece

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