Soaps can be very influential in this day and age as millions of viewers tune in to them regularly and they can potentially influence a lot of people. They are often used as a vehicle to raise awareness of important causes and can help disseminate any controversy that may surround them.
All a very dramatic stuff, and you would expect some big elements of drama in a soap; however, one of the biggest fears that people have when considering organ donation and not understanding the processes and protocols involved, is that should they be in such a state where they may donate organs, doctors will be overzealous in their keenness to get their hands on them and their families feelings may be ridden over and not be considered in all this zest.
Now a lot of these these myths and concerns have been addressed during recent campaigns such as ITV's 'From the Heart', so people have been able to overcome these ideas and sign up to be organ donors. In reality there is a specialist team and nurse both supporting and informing the family during every single step of the process, starting with making sure the family know and understand fully the condition their loved one is in. Agreement about every step of the process is sought throughout and nothing whatsoever is undertaken if the family feels it is inappropriate for their loved one or doesn't feel right for them. No family would ever be bullied into transplant and no part of the transplant process or a transplant would take place against the families wishes.
So most unfortunately, the BBC has now put these myths about organ donation back into the forefront of people's minds, swaying people to believe it is possible for doctors to break the protocols surrounding both the donor and recipient. I know some will say that it is only a soap opera and a drama and that's what they are all about, but unfortunately people are very easily influenced by them, especially nowadays when it is quite common for soaps to home in on current issues and use them to write their story lines.
Of course our expectations of soap operas may be too high and there has been some opposition to the transplant communities' views, one view was printed in a newspaper from a Holby City fan saying, 'it is a soap, soap is all made up, get a life!' Well my answer to that one is, 'I will one day when some very special person enables me to, but thanks to the BBC 'getting a life' could be potentially much longer!' They would feel very different I think if they or any of their family or friends had been affected by organ donation and so would the people involved in the making and broadcasting of this programme.
For our part, we have complained to the BBC and Rob was interviewed by the Welwyn Hatfield Times, here is the report they put in the paper:
I was also interviewed too by our local radio Jack FM and they broadcast their radio interview throughout the day on Wednesday.