"Days of Our Lives" Storyline Raising Eyebrows
Laura Frnka, Director of Communications
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The current storyline of “Days Of Our Lives,” the popular soap opera, which airs on NBC, is raising some eyebrows in the organ and tissue donation community. All this is doing is perpetuating the myths about organ and tissue donation that we fight on a daily basis.
In case you’re not familiar with what’s happening on the show, here’s a brief synopsis:
One of the main characters is in a women’s correctional facility. While there, this character (Hope) discovers some unexplained deaths of some of the inmates. As she begins to investigate these deaths, she finds that the physicians and nurses on staff are not treating these inmates, but instead letting them die so they can sell their organs on the black market and make some big money. The show also depicts another character being killed for her heart.
As someone who works day in and day out to educate the community about the need for organ and tissue donation, this infuriates me. Research shows that millions of Americans receive their health information from soap operas and TV dramas and what this show currently is depicting is false. It’s perpetuating the myths that LifeGift and other OPOs across the country try so hard to debunk on a daily basis.
Dr. Susan Morgan from Purdue University conducted research, which revealed that the public believes what they see on television when it comes to organ donation and that inaccurate plots as the one currently unfolding on “Days of Our Lives,” prevents people from registering as organ and tissue donors. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that “if soap operas fail to convey accurate information, or portray risky behavior without the associated health consequence, there is a possibility millions of people will suffer negative effects.”
More than 110,000 people across this country are waiting for a lifesaving organ and 10,000 of those people live in Texas, including one of my family members. I’m outraged that this TV show is portraying such inaccuracies about this topic. We are in a healthcare crisis. The number of available organs for transplant simply does not meet the demand. Every day, 18 people die is this country because of organ failure. Hollywood is contributing to this healthcare crisis by allowing “Days Of Our Lives” to continue with its current storyline.
I know the donation community is FLOODING the show’s producers with letters and phone calls asking them to refrain from incorporating myths and misconceptions about donation in the current episodes of “Days Of Our Lives.” I sincerely hope we can ban together and put a stop to this inaccurate depiction of a life and death issue.