Organ Donation. It is one of the most selfless, heroic acts a person can do for their fellow man. It gives another person (or a number of people) a new lease on life. A second chance that would not have come otherwise.
Since it's founding and inception, Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donation have made great strides, and had come a long way where medical technology is concerned.
Too bad public education and awareness have neither made the same wonderful strides since that time. There are so many myths, half truths and all-out lies when it comes to the topic of Organ/Tissue/Eye Donation. Some are classics that you have heard so many times, it's like second nature and doesn't even phase you when you hear the words blurted out unexpectedly.
The number one myth/lie I tend to hear the most is... "If I have an accident or other tragic medical emergency, and I am a Registered Organ Donor, then the EMS and the Emergency Department/hospital will NOT do EVERYTHING in their power to save my life, so that they can get my organs".
How very, VERY untrue that this statement is. All medical professionals are to do EVERYTHING in their means and within their power to save lives. No matter if the patient is an organ donor, or not.
Another is.. "They might take my 'parts' when I am still legally alive, but look like I am dead".
Yet, this is another false statement. The Transplant Coordination Team must do various, and rigorous tests, including several EEG's, eye dilation test, and nerve sensation testing. After all of those are completed (multiple times) and each time nothing changes with negative results for EVERY time, then the patient is declared BRAIN DEAD (which is a legal form of death), and also their only means of having a heartbeat and breathing lungs is via the ventilator.
There were comments on a Fan Page I belong in regards to the possibility of New York mandating an "Opt-Out" Organ Donation System, where you are of "presumed consent to donate", unless you sign a paper/check a box for your State-issued Driver's License or ID that you wish to NOT be an Organ Donor. Basically, it is donation in reverse. Instead of VOLUNTARILY giving your organs, you will be PRESUMED to be a donor, unless you say otherwise.
Some of the comments were either of a selfish nature, or of not enough self-education in to the ins and outs of donating.
There are some people that don't want to donate being that they would only want to have their "parts" go to 'good people', not "killers, rapists" and others deemed less fitting of society.
There was one comment where an ADULT female would only donate (including her heart) ONLY to children. Sadly to say though, an adult (for the most part) cannot donate their organs to a child. Especially the heart and the lungs.
The only adult organs that are able to be cross-matched with children (TO MY KNOWLEDGE) is heart valves, and the liver (that can be cut in to 7 or 8 pieces and will regenerate to full size in the host body), skin, and the corneas (window of the eye).
Otherwise, there is no feasible ability to transplant adult organs in to children. Not unless the recipient's chest wall, kidney areas are of a compatible size of their donors.
In all real honesty, the last two excuses/explanations I gave as to why people wish to NOT donate their organs after their death are the two most selfish. Yes, children (especially infants and other small children) are at the greatest need of transplants. And they have the highest rate of donor shortage. But I do NOT fault the parents of deceased children. It is hard enough to lose your child, only to have to make a DRASTIC decision like that, at such a critical, emotional and bereaved time such as that.
But unlike the latter, I don't see where, in my mind and personal opinion, that there is a valid excuse to NOT donate (other than for religious practice/belief reasons). Especially when you put a "price" on donating. Such as stipulating that you only want a "good person or people" to have your organs. Or that as an adult only wants to give to children, which will make what you CAN give, very little.
Speaking of "setting a price" on Organ Donation. That is another misconception I caught on that Fan Page board. Some one (who rides motorcycles) said that he wouldn't want to donate, being that the DONOR family gets dumped with the cost of procurement, transporting of the organs and tissues, and for the RECIPIENT's surger(ies).
Again, a FALSE statement/myth/accusation. Nothing, and I mean *NOTHING* is charged to the Donor or their family for *any* part of the Transplant process. That all befalls to the RECIPIENT. Believe me, I know. Just for my cornea (not including harvesting, transportation, or transplantation) cost me $3,000.00. ME!....Not my donor or their family. It is against FEDERAL law to charge a single dime to the Donor or their loved ones being a donor or for the donation process.
So, I hope that for those of you that are still deciding to become an Organ/Tissue Donor, or for those of you that never really knew much about the process have read this and have taken something away (positive) about the TRUTH of being a Donor.
I truly believe that if more people were to self-educate (through reputable organizations, websites and through personal experiences of recipients) of exactly how Donation works, there would be MILLIONS more people willing to sign up to be a HERO.
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What is written in this blog, is of the author's own originality. It contains the sole views, thoughts, and stories of this blog's author.