Are you an Organ Donor?

7 12 2010

I often wonder why it’s not automatic, organ donation that is.  If someone comes into an emergency room.. and they can’t be saved their organs should be automatically donated, unless they have specifically stated they don’t want to donate.

Instead, the way it is now, if someone dies and hasn’t previously stated on their medical records or drivers license they want to be an organ donor.. then tough noogies.  So then the decision falls to the grieving family to decide to cut up their family to save strangers.   Most people aren’t that big, they are too selfish and can’t look past their own grief to help someone.  Give them a week or two, and they probably would.. but the organs are only viable for up to 24 hours (72 for kidneys) after death.

[lots of information about donations here]

Plus did you know, just because you have said once upon a time you that you wanted to be an organ donor, it doesn’t mean that you are still one now?  For example, if you were an organ donor on your drivers license when you were a teenager, but in later years when you renewed you didn’t tick that box you may no longer be an organ donor.    They are actually supposed to ask you every time… before a surgery, license renewal.. basically every opportunity, whether or not you want to be or are an organ donor.  Even if you said yes 50 times, if the last time before the ‘moment of truth’, they didn’t ask, didn’t make a note of your answer or you said no then that’s it.  If they don’t know, the absolutely HAVE to err on the side of no.

So this means you could be an organ donor on your drivers license your entire adult life, your medical records can have showed you as a donor, but if somehow somewhere you forgot to renew the donation ‘bit’ and they do not have a clear cut recent YES.  Then no organs or tissue for those who could use it.  [A really great article from a Doctor in Canada about all of this]

Now I get that for a lot of people there are a lot of things to consider…. but really what it boils down to is once you’re dead you’re dead.  What in god’s name do you need kidneys for?  Ok for some there are personal and/or religious considerations.  Fine.. let them say ” Hey I don’t want you to use you my organs and tissue” let them specify themselves that they don’t want to participate.

A single body can save 9 lives, maybe even more.

Did you know in some places even if you mark your drivers license as a donor, you are still not actually a donor.  You’re just marked as and ‘intended’ donor… it’s still up to your family in the end.  [According to this Document] So not only do you need to say you want to be a donor, in the US you have to register with a national organization too.

Seriously?? Most people are too lazy to any of the above, but most people wouldn’t actually object to organ donation.  And even if they did have some minor qualms… (aka no serious religious or person issues) Dude… once their dead… who cares.. they certainly don’t (they are fricken dead).

The Canadian association [here] you can register to be an organ donor, by calling a number, register etc.  It’s all pretty simple, but the sad reality is that most people don’t and won’t, it’s a do it later thing.   You know, tomorrow… that day that never comes.

Well, seriously it isn’t that hard.  You should talk to your family let them know if you are for or against organ donation.  ‘I don’t care’ isn’t an option, if you don’t care then go with ‘yes, I’ll donate’.  The steps you need to take in Canada are [here].

I’m aware that I repeated myself a little here, but I think that it’s pretty important.  And I don’t think that most people know much about all of this, not because they really don’t care but it’s just not super fun to think about.  Chew on this, what if it was your loved one in need of a donation to live?  What if you needed the donation?  Remember the Golden Rule, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.  I would want them to save my life, so I’m definitely willing to save theirs.

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22 responses

4 12 2009
David J Undis

Your story about Organ Donation highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations.

At least 9,000 of the 105,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage – give donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren’t willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has over 13,000 members at this writing.

Please contact me – Dave Undis, Executive Director of LifeSharers – if your readers would like to learn more about our innovative approach to increasing the number of organ donors. I can arrange interviews with some of our local members if you’re interested. My email address is daveundis@lifesharers.org. My phone number is 615-351-8622.

4 12 2009
Tracey

I really like this article that you’ve written. Very thoughtful and not something I would ever think to blog about although it’s something I agree with you on 100%. I even registered 😀

4 12 2009
Magdalicious

YAY!!

4 12 2009
Tracey

Well, maybe I didn’t register, but I did download and print out the card. Will call BC Medical over the weekend.

6 12 2009
bex

Hey, I think this is a great topic! (bt

6 12 2009
bex

Okay so try again.. this is a great topic. I would love to be an organ donar, I unforturnatly cannot though, those who know me well know I was very sick when I was little with a (to this day still) unknow liver disese. I think anyone who can be a donor should because there are some of us out there who would like to help and cannot.

btw great snow on the page!!

9 12 2009
Magdalicious

Hey I know you well!! I didn’t know about that!

That sucks…

Yeah apparently there are some countries in Europe where they assume consent… I wish they would do it here.

11 12 2009
bex

Ya when I was 9 I was so ill that they emergency flew me to Vancouver Childrens Hospital and I was put in isolation because they didnt know what I had. They did hundreds of blood test and a liver biopsy and still couldnt figure out what I had. I was in isolation for 10 days, and out of school for 4 months. probably the root of why I needed a math tutor… lol thanks btw. 🙂 anyhow they never did figure out what I had, mom put me on naturalpath and its gone, my liver is healthy (confirmed by recent tests). But since they could never pinpoint what it was I can’t donate organs.

11 12 2009
Magdalicious

Ah this would be why I didn’t remember, it was technically before I knew you and while I was young enough to be like ‘ so did you die.. no? meh s’all good’. 😀

Yeah I like a lot of the natural-path stiff, did you go to Beth the iridologist? Lol yeah probably why you needed one, no worries as a matter of fact… no thank you! That’s probably the root of the our friendship!

Boo no organs.. I’d take yours if you kicked 😀

11 12 2009
bex

Awww Thanks Magda, that is true friendship you would take my tainted organs. Yes i did go to Beth, she and Vanhorlic, i think is how you spell it, he was also a naturalpath we dealt with and actually still do, I have a whoot load of stuff i am taking right now from Beth.

Yes I thank my illness for bringing me YOU!
all loves

11 12 2010
bex

OHHH you messing with me now…. ha ha I am reading away thinking wow, mag has been busy with posting, ohh I have something to comment here too, then WHAM ,.. I did.. like a year ago. tripped me out.. I Like all these reposts.. very important words.. all of them

lovies.

12 12 2010
Magdalicious

I did pick and choose which to ‘repost’ / move the pasting date of

17 12 2010
Wayne

“I often wonder why it’s not automatic, organ donation that is. If someone comes into an emergency room.. and they can’t be saved their organs should be automatically donated, unless they have specifically stated they don’t want to donate.”

You rail against the TSA, but this is exactly the same Big Brother philosophy behind their security policies: One’s person can be used by the state in any way the agents of the state deem appropriate.

Oh yeah, you perfunctorily genuflect to personal liberty by offering an opt-out clause, but ignore the fact this is a very slippery slope you would take us down (The TSA offers an opt out too, and then arrests people for taking it). To declare the state has a right to one’s internal organs when one dead is a single step away from saying it’s entitled to them while one is still alive. Worse than that, it simple-mindedly pisses centuries of hard earned personal freedoms out the window without a thought.

I know you mean well, as do all who propose such things for “the common good”, but remember: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

17 12 2010
Magdalicious

Primary difference, Wayne, being that in my scenerio… the person is dead. So really they and their rights mean about as much to me as a piece of chicken. That goes for my own dead corpse.

Where as all this TSA bullshit is raping the rights and personal liberties of those who are alive AND aware of what is happening to them. They feel the violation.

IT’s like which is worse? A pedophile or a necrophiliac? I say pedophile… necrophilia is icky but at least they aren’t hurting anyone.

17 12 2010
Wayne

“they and their rights mean about as much to me as a piece of chicken”

Spoken like a true statist. I wonder if you would feel the same if you were ever to be ushered from the deathbed of a loved one by some state-sanctioned necrofurtum.

By the way, are you aware of the incongruity of your thesis, offering compassion to those in need of organ transplants while showing none to those with the organs to donate, nor their families?

17 12 2010
Magdalicious

I’m going to be totally honest with you, you’re coming off as purely argumentative. You’re not explaining your point or providing examples. While I freely admit I’m not being hardcore, at least I’m trying to support my point.

Clearly we have different views, dead is dead. Could be my mom, I don’t care once she is dead she is no longer there. Attachment to a dead peice of meat is silly, but I understand that many people have it. My point is the vast majority of people DON’t care, and those who do would step up and say hey we care don’t do this please. IT’s a might different opting out of organ donation, and opting out of a radioactive scan to then be physically molested and not allowed on your flight. Or if you opt out completely to be fines 10,000 us dollars.

You’re making a ridiculous comparison. Perhaps it would be the same if it was, if you opt out of organ donation then we get to take 20 quarts of blood over the next couple of years from your next living relative. But that wasn’t what I was suggesting AT all.

18 12 2010
Wayne

“you’re coming off as purely argumentative.”

Rubbish. Read my original post. My argument is two fold: First, assuming ownership of something that does not belong to you is morally reprehensible, whatever good you feel may come of it. Second, there is a fine line between treating a corpse like a piece of chicken (as you so euphemistically put it) and treating the living likewise. The dead person has no further use for his internal organs, therefore the state may dispose of them as it pleases. What about people who are still alive, but are apt to die? Imagine that scenario. He/she may die tomorrow, but Organ Harvest Canada decides the organs are needed now.

It’s a slippery slope, and quite frankly I have no desire to start down it. I’m all in favour of organ donation, but I prefer to ask people to donate while they are alive. It would be better for government agents to ask the public they are dealing with to be organ donors; renewing one’s driver’s licence or passport, for example. Your suggestion has the ability to take us places we may not want to go.

“My point is the vast majority of people DON’t care”

What evidence have you to back up that statement? And even if it were true, what about those who do?

You come off in this argument as a stereotypical progressive for whom the end justifies the means.

…”once [my mom] is dead she is no longer there. Attachment to a dead peice of meat is silly.”

It is statements such as this that are silly. I stood at the side of my father’s death bed. I guarantee if you were ever to stand at the side of your mother’s you would not simply regard her as a piece of meat.

29 12 2010
Magdalicious

And I stood by my grandmother’s deathbed.. the one who raised me.. so pretty much as equal parent status as mother or father.. and yes when she was dead.. her body was just that a body… a piece of meat. 🙂 I don’t presume to understand how each person feels, but I do know how I feel. And I’m allowed to say that I think that something is silly based on my feelings and opinions.. L have a card it says so 😉

22 12 2010
Kari

To donate an Organ or not?
That is the question!!

I have to agree with Magda on this one Wayne, though I can see why you would like to keep certain family members close to you “whole” or for whatever reasons you may have to bury them.

My reasons to agree with Magda are this:

First of all, the world has limited space, and with people living longer over-population is in our near future. Putting people in graves will only take up the limited space we have. Why not reuse organs such as we do with a paper clip or plastic bag?
The things we waste are already so high that we hardly can control it.

Secondly, donating organs gives people who are still alive more time to possibly do great things, be it for a man close to discovering a new dinosaur but just needs a liver or a father with a new born baby. Organ donation does much more good than evil.

Final word. It’s very easy to blow organ donation in the wind when you or someone close to you isn’t on the organ transplant list. I am sure if that were the case you’d hope someone would be a donor. Because I know if I was, I’d be hoping. I know I want to live to see my family develop.

~Kari

29 12 2010
Magdalicious

Oh Kari!!! Nail on the head! Exactly, I suspect everyone would sing a really different tune if they or someone they loved were on the organ transplant list. Waiting for a chance to live.

Besides, Wayne, you’re taking it to an extreme that I never suggested. You pushing it toward the line of organ thieves in the night, I am merely suggesting that if no one says anything or objects, then why not use the organs to save a life?

If it was your life…. wouldn’t you want to live? I wouldn’t want to live if someone had to die for me to do it, but if they have ALREADY died…. why can’t I have a chance?

6 09 2011
jewelyaz

I know you wrote this ages ago, but as a two-time donated-organ recipient, I need to chime in. I would not be able to write this to you without two organ donors. I have had cornea transplants in both eyes, the right in 1999 and the left in 2003, and I can still see!

In addition to being an organ recipient, I am also signed up to be an organ donor. They probably won’t want my corneas, but they can have anything else that someone else can use.

6 09 2011
Magdalicious

Wow I had no idea.. that is so super cool!

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