[Imaginative Discussions] Organ Donation

Posted November 27, 2013 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 6 Comments

 photo kidneys-are-in-high-demand1_zpsa62ef138.jpeg
Image from Donate4Life
I am very passionate on the subject of organ donation. I lost my grandfather in November some years ago when his donated heart “rejected” his body. He lived for 18 years with his donated heart. That amount of time was an awesome and surprising length for a donated organ. My grandfather would not have seen a majority of his great grandchildren born. He would have missed out on many opportunities in his life. My grandfather was two weeks away from death when he was called in for his heart.
He would have missed my high school graduation. My favorite memory from my graduation was my grandfather, smiling at me, so overjoyed to be alive to see my diploma handed to me.
I am always disheartened and highly frustrated when people come back to me about the many urban legends and misconceptions surrounding organ donating.  Today, I want to touch on some highly circulated myths surrounding organ donating.
1. Organ donors are at risk of malpractice in order to harvest organs. WRONG. The medical team will not stop and check your wishes after your death while saving your life. Doctors and staff are dedicated to save your life. It is not a trade off. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
2. You can’t have an open casket funeral if you donate organs. The body is covered with clothing and there will be no visible scarring. In the case of skin donation, staff will use an area, such as the back, a non-visible area.  The body will cosmetically be treated to prevent any signs of donation. Highly skilled professionals will tend to the needs of the deceased to help their loved ones find the proper closure. (Source: Mayo Clinic and Donate4Life)
3. I can’t due to religion. A majority of religions either support or have no say against organ donation. TransWeb.org has a dedicated page for religious standing on the subject.
4. I am too sick/old/young to donate. Many organs are still viable and able to be given to a recipient. The medical field is evolving, and such conditions like diabetes will not cause an organ to be rejected. Age is not a barrier as well.  For persons under the age of 18, legal guardians can authorize organ donation wishes. (Sources: Mayo Clinic and TransWeb
5. My family will have to shoulder the fiscal burden of organ donation. The transplant family is financially obligated, NOT the donor family! (Source: Mayo Clinic)
6. Noting I am an organ donor on my driver’s license will suffice. I cannot stress this enough. Make it clear to your family, and sign up on the organ donor registry. It is important that you let your family know your wishes. (Source: UNOS.org)
Organ donation saves lives. According to OrganDonor.gov:
  • Just one organ donor can save up to 8 lives
  • Each day, 18 people die, waiting for an organ
  • There are enough people on the waiting list to fill up two football stadiums
Talk to your family. Research it. Speak to the families. Come to me about any questions. Become a hero and register to donate your organs. 

6 responses to “[Imaginative Discussions] Organ Donation

  1. Thanks for this post! I would add that bone marrow donation is a really important live donation that not enough people are signed up for (especially non-Caucasian people) and how awesome is it to know that you saved a little kid from Leukemia?? Anyway, I’ve actually gone to the extent of telling my parents that I’d want my brain donated to science as well as any other organs that can be donated to patients because science 😀

  2. Lyn I can totally understand about organ donation, however I’m one of those who can’t donate due to my own health issues. One of the biggest thing for me is donating plasma because that is something that holds the key for me to stay healthy.
    I don’t normally share this on blogging network but perhaps I should just to get words out on the other hand I’m happy with not sharing because there’s a lot of confusion or too much information at a time.
    My mom is an organ donor and she is also my blood match in case I ever need a blood transfusion for any reasons.
    Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

  3. I actually became an organ donor about 3 weeks ago and it is honestly the best feeling. Knowing that one day I can help make an impact on someones life and help them is amazing. Thanks for sharing and hopefully this helps spread awareness about organ donation!

  4. Fantastic post! I find it just as important myself and am a registered (as well as making sure my family is informed of my wishes) organ donor as well– though I’m not certain if I’ll be a good candidate due to health since I have to constantly get my own kidney and liver tested (long-term medications). Either way, if something happened, could at least try and see. I don’t see the harm in being registered anyway just in case. 🙂
    Though sad about your grandfather, I’m glad he got so much extra time from the donation. Every extra day someone gets like that is something special I’m sure. <3

    Also, thanks for including the facts to debunk those myths! Number one is the common myth I hear–and the worst. Haha! SMH.


  5. Amy

    What a fantastic post!! Thank you for putting the myths about organ donors to rest as well. I think a lot of people are put off by what they think will happen if they are a registered organ donor. I am glad that due to an organ donor your grandfather was able to make more great memories with you.

  6. I convinced my husband to be an organ donor last year. He truly believed that emergency crews wouldn’t resuscitate him if he was an organ donor. It’s amazing how that myth survives despite all evidence to the contrary.

    I’ve been an organ donor since I turned 18. I’d much rather my organs be put to a good use after I’m done needing them. 🙂 I know that if one of my family members was sick and needed like a kidney or lung transplant, I’d be the first one to sign up.

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