TV Shows Such As Grey's Anatomy Are Turning Potential Kidney Donors Against Donation, Study Suggests

Plantilla Simple

Plantilla Simple


Experts from the University of Illinois and Purdue University suggest that the television series, Grey's Anatomy specifically has an overwhelmingly "negative" and "cynical" (distrustful) view of organ donation. They argue that, "The majority of organ donation coverage on this program depicts doctors as vultures, eager to transplant organs from their patients." 

Recommended Reading: Busting Stereotypical Myths Which CKD Patients And Donors Hold That Prevent Kidney Transplantations

Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients and Diabetics who are at risk of Kidney Failure or are already on Dialysis know that the Kidney Transplant waiting list has jumped well past 100,000 people. Trusted sources suggest that 19 people die every day in the United States while waiting for a Kidney Transplant, and most on the Kidney Transplant List wait an average of 7 to 9 years. Thus it is quite clear, the need to have a "correctly informed" population in order to increase those willing to be Kidney Donors, wouldn't you agree?  

Recommended Reading: "Find A Kidney Donor" Campaign

There is absolutely NO evidence that the Grey's Anatomy writers deliberately mislead the public about Organ Donation or they are the only ones doing so inadvertently. The authors of the study wrote, "In addition, plots often highlight doctors crossing ethical lines by privileging patients that are their friends as well as affluent patients with organ transplantation over less familiar and affluent individuals." This is likely for plot twists and suspense to enhance entertainment value. 

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Still the study very interestingly enough found that increased viewing of Grey's Anatomy lead to an increased belief that its portrayal of medicine is generally realistic. Various storylines were found to cultivate distrust in medical institutions and created a barrier for those in the study which reduced their willingness to become an Organ (Kidney) Donor. What's more is that other studies have found the messages which TV shows impart tend to influence viewers especially on topics where the public's pre-existing knowledge level is low; such as Kidney Donation. Therefore, you can see how the over 8 million weekly viewers who watch Grey's Anatomy every week may be misinformed about Kidney Donation. 

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Again, in no way is Grey's Anatomy alone. Another study of Network television series found, "the framing of Organ Donation is primarily negative and highlights moral and material corruption in the medical and Organ Allocation systems." does not recommend boycotting Grey's Anatomy. In fact the opposite - as a community let's connect with Grey's Anatomy and ABC to request that the producers highlight the value of Kidney Donation and encourage their viewers to be Donors (living or otherwise). Provide your name and email below to show YOUR support. 

For more Daily News and Information about how Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics can better manage their lives, visit the #1 source online,

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"UNOS DonateLife." Http:// United Network for Organ Sharing.

"Study: Grey's Anatomy Is Turning People against Organ Donation."Http:// Vox.

"ABC's Rising 'Scandal,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Top Thursday Ratings."Http:// Variety.