Monitor on Psychology - December 2011 - (Page 74)

Saving lives, one organ at a time Psychologists are helping remove barriers to organ donation. B Y A MY N OVOT N EY E very day, 18 people die while waiting for a heart, liver, kidney, lung or other vital organ transplant. Despite this need, most Americans don’t opt to donate their organs. In 2009, only 37 percent of U.S. residents age 18 and over were registered organ donors, according to a survey by Donate Life America. That survey also found that while most Americans express interest in donating their organs and tissue, misperceptions about the process keep them from doing so. For example, 52 percent of survey respondents said they feared physicians would not try as hard to save their lives if they were organ or tissue donors. Psychologists, as specialists in human behavior, motivation and communication, are working to help dispel such myths and improve the overall donation process. They’re helping patients and families to explore live donations from friends and relatives. They are also working to reduce disparities in who receives organ transplants: Blacks, for example, are four times more likely than whites to have kidney failure, but are less than half as likely to receive transplants from living donors. “Organ transplantation really exemplifies a lot of issues that come up in other areas of psychology and behavioral medicine, Monitor on psychology • DeceMber 2011 74

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - December 2011

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Willpower Pioneer Wins $100,000 Grawemeyer Prize
Single-Sex Schooling Called Into Question by Prominent Researchers
Maternal Depression Stunts Childhood Growth, Research Suggests
For Boys, Sharing May Seem Like a Waste of Time
Good News for Postdoc Applicants
In Brief
Treatment Guideline Development Now Under Way
Government Relations Update
Psychologist Named Va Mental Health Chief
The Limits of Eyewitness Testimony
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Deconstructing Suicide
A Focus on Interdisciplinarity
A Time of ‘Enormous Change’
The Science Behind Team Science
Good Science Requires Good Conflict
A New Paradigm of Care
Speaking of Education
Science Directions
New Labels, New Attitudes?
Psychologist Profile
Early Career Psychology
Unintended Consequences
Better Options for Troubled Teens
Saving Lives, One Organ at a Time
New Journal Editors
APA News
Division Spotlight
Guidelines for the Conduct of President-Elect Nominations and Elections
American Psychological Foundation

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011