Tissue Access for Patient Benefit


British Association for Tissue Banking

3 May 2012

Professor Siminoff will be giving the following two Plenary presentations at the British Association for Tissue Banking Annual Scientific conference in the morning of Thursday 10th May 2012.

Professor Siminoff talking at the British Association for Tissue Banking

Plenary 1.

Consent to Organ and Tissue Donation: US Policies and Communication


Improving the rates of consent from deceased donor families is a pivotal means for slowing the rise of the supply demand gap for transplantation of organs and tissues. This talk reviews the history of US policy approaches to organ and tissue donation and their successes and failures. In addition, we will review the evidence concerning the effectiveness of various communication approaches and their acceptability and effect on donation consent rates.

Plenary 2.

Tissue Donation & Research Enterprise: GTEx initiative

The Genotype-Tissue Expression Project (GTEx) is a demonstration project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Commonfund. The purpose of GTEx is to examine correlations between genotype and tissue-specific gene expression levels to help identify regions of the genome that influence whether and how much a gene is expressed. GTEx will help researchers to understand inherited susceptibility to disease and will be a resource database and tissue bank for many studies in the future. The goal of the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) sub-study is to examine the requests for tissue donation and evaluate the communication process, including ascertaining family decision makers' (FDM) attitudes, understanding and recall of the request conversation. The ELSI sub-study conducts telephone interviews with at least 100 FDMs and surgical patients who made a decision about donating tissue to the GTEx biobank. The healthcare or donation professionals who requested the donation complete an online self-administered survey about each GTEx request they make. This presentation will provide an overview of GTEx and preliminary results from the ELSI substudy.

Professor Siminoff will then run a workshop for a smaller group for the whole afternoon on Thursday 10th May 2012:-

Communications Skills & Consent Workshop

Those who request donation, whether for solid organs or tissues, have to balance the needs of the grieving family against the goal of gaining consent to donation. The requesters' challenge is to use effective communication to inform and educate the potential donor about tissue donation while being respectful of the stressful circumstances attending that discussion. Requesters need to engage families in a discussion of key donation related issues and use active listening skills in order for communication to be effective. Research has identified that addressing the donation related issues most important to family members and using effective communication skills are at the heart of the donation request process. The question is what are effective communication skills?

This workshop will introduce participants to a new US training programme developed from 15 years of empirical research into family member's decision-making which demonstrates effective and ineffective communication skills.

The workshop will provide a brief overview of a communication intervention study, Communicating Effectively about Donation (CEaD) training program, that is being tested in the US with 8 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs). Specifically, the CEaD is a behavioural communication intervention that targets the use of effective communication techniques by OPO requesters to discuss organ donation with donation-eligible patients' families. Video from the intervention will be shown. An overview of UK consent issues will also be presented and a discussion with attendees will follow.

Participants will be able to watch two donation request scenarios illustrating a request for paediatric organ donation. Participants will also listen to audio recordings of requests for tissue donation recorded in the UK. A group discussion will follow concerning how to approach tissue donation discussions facilitated by the moderators. Participants will be expected to engage in group discussion and group feedback.