Opponents of organ donation spread various false narratives. Transplantation medicine, for example, invented the concept of brain death in order to remove living organs. Or that it wants to enrich itself at the expense of patients. Or that the relatives would be psychologically manipulated during the conversation so that they would agree to the removal of organs.
These fake news are the facts to hold against. But this is only one side. The false narratives express primeval fears, because this is about life and death. They also show a certain mistrust of medicine. We have therefore let the people involved in organ donation speak for themselves: Relatives of donors, recipients, transplant doctors. With the “I am dead” campaign we go directly into the narrative of the opponents and rewrite it: It is fake news that brain dead is not dead, but this person here would be dead without a donor organ.
In 2015, we developed a poster campaign for the Swisstransplant Foundation. The picture shows a person who is full of life. Above the head “I’ve been dead since xxxx”, with the resolution: Actually. But there was someone who donated me an x, so I live on.
In 2017 we deepened this in our campaign on the occasion of the European Organ Donar Day in Bern. In mini documentaries of two to three minutes in length, protagonists involved in organ donation tell their story. The minidokus were distributed in the social media and viewed over 100,000 times.
In 2018, we supported Swisstransplant in the campaign for a solution to the contradiction in organ donation.
In addition, we developed training materials for Swisstransplant in the subjects of biology, sociology, philosophy, psychology and German and developed a campaign for the promotion at schools.
Overall, organ donation is perceived more positively today. The donation rate has increased in the months following our communication measures. Whatever these measures may have contributed to. The training material was very well received by teachers and students.