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Organ Donation Teaching Resource Pack

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Organ Donation
Teaching Resource Pack

Guidance for Teachers

The aim of the materials in this pack is to educate young people on the issues surrounding organ donation and transplantation, not to promote the subject or pressurise them into consent or participation. Young people and adults, throughout their lives, are faced with choices about a whole range of issues. These materials are designed to enable informed, educated choices in this very important area for our society.

The materials can be used with senior pupils as part of their core RME or PSD programmes. They can also be used with certificate classes who are studying the following SQA Courses or Units in the RMPS:

  • Intermediate 1

Medical Ethics

  • Intermediate 2

Medical Ethics

  • Advanced Higher

Prolongation of Life

Teachers should ensure they are working from the most recent SQA RMPS arrangements and that they follow the correct assessment procedures as required by the SQA.

The materials are also designed for use in the Senior School Personal, Social Education Programmes (PSE). The resources aim to be as contemporary as possible, but inevitably by their very nature these issues are changing as medicine and science progress. It would therefore be important for teachers to 'keep up to date' by referring to the appropriate websites mentioned in the resources. It would also be important to check for the most recent statistics and data.

The resources are designed to bring out the issues which lie behind organ donation and transplantation. Teachers would not necessarily use all the units, but rather exercise their professional discretion to select appropriately according to the educational need and timescale allowed.

Methodologically, the aim is to stimulate discussion and informed debate. The units are designed to encourage:

thinking
enquiry
analysis/evaluation
reflection
expression

The pupils should be encouraged to form their own opinions through a process of personal search, while at the same time appreciating other opinions which come from an equally well-informed position.

The importance of these resources and the implicit methodology cannot be overstated. As citizens, young people, like all of us, are required to make decisions. Sometimes these are decisions which make the difference between life and death. Clearly this is the essence of organ donation and transplantation. However, it is virtually impossible to develop the ability to express ideas and engage in the critical thinking that leads to decision making without first establishing a firm basis in relevant knowledge and understanding. Students need to be encouraged therefore not only to acquire and retain knowledge but to appreciate the importance of knowledge and evidence as the basis for expressing and justifying their opinions. It is hoped that these resources will go some way to help in this process of informed decision making in this highly important and sensitive area.

The video prepared as part of the pack provides real life stories concerning organ donation and transplantation, and is intended to be used as a general introduction.

A glossary has been included covering the medical terms used in this pack.

Anyone wishing to contact the local transplant co-ordinator or wanting further information should contact the Communications Directorate, NHS UK Transplant tel: (0117 975 7575).