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American Family Children's Hospital
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Value Positive LanguageSM

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Use the following examples as ways of incorporating positive language when discussing the possibility of organ donation.

 

Neutral: "This is Sharon. She works with families like yours, who have lost a loved one. Would it be all right if she speaks with you for a moment?"

Value Positive: "This is Sharon, and she is part of the health care team. She works with us and families like yours who have lost a loved one. She can help you with decisions and any questions you may have about end of life care." 

Neutral: "You have the option of donating your son's organs. Did you ever have a conversation about organ donation? Do you think this is something he would have wanted to do?

Value Positive: "You have the opportunity to help up to seven other people through donation of your son's organs. You told me he loved helping others, and this is one last thing he can do for others. Many families use organ, tissue and eye donation as a way of celebrating the lives of their loved ones. Some families say it's a lasting tribute or legacy. Donation also has a way of helping families make something good come of something bad."

Neutral: "Mr. Johnson, you may be able to help many people by donating your wife's organs. I'm here to offer you the option of donation. I'm sure whatever decision you make will be the right one for your family."

Value Positive: "Mr. Johnson you have the opportunity to help many people by donating your wife's organs. I am here to offer you the opportunity to save others lives through the gift of organ donation. I will support you in whatever decision you make. 

Neutral: "You seem unsure about donating your daughter's organs. Would you like me to give you some time alone with your family so you can discuss this more and make a decision?"

Value Positive: "You seem unsure about donating your daughter's organs. Through donation, you could honor her by saving and enhancing the lives of others who are suffering. What questions can I answer so that you and your family can reach a decision?" 

Neutral: "Mr. Jarvis, I understand that you feel, since you did not discuss donation with your wife, you are unable to make a decision for her. Thank you for considering donation."

Value Positive: "Mr. Jarvis, many families don't discuss donation, and I can understand that you may be struggling to make a decision. Since your wife's accident you have been making decisions for her care, and this too you probably never discussed. There will be many decisions that you will be making over the next few days. I want to help you make this one. You do have the ability to continue her legacy through giving the gift of life."