Organ Donation.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/health...

Researchers think that if organ donation was set up on an "opt out" system, rather than an "opt in" system, thousands more lives could be saved.

I think that's an excellent idea. A lot of people i know have no objection to donating their organs, but they either put off registering, or "don't want to be morbid" so don't register etc etc.
I've only recently registered, once i found you could do it online. I registered my husband too (he falls into the "I don't want to think about it" category)

Your thoughts?

Also, are their any organs that you wouldn't donate? I have put that they can have everything except my corneas. Something about that just freaks me out!
:)

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Mary - posted on 05/07/2010

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Actually, I sort of like the idea of an opt-out system. As many of the posts on here show, a lot of people would not mind being a donor, they " just haven't gotten around to it". Problem is, you never know when it may become an issue...

My healthy, 64 year-old mother died suddenly of a heart attack last month. It was completely unexpected, as there was no family history, nor had she been even a little "off". Luckily, m mother was the consummate think-ahead kind of person, and she was a registered organ donor. I doubt that many of us realize just how much of our body can be used to help mankind. My mother died in the ambo en route to the hospital, so, along with the absolute shock and pain I was in, it never occurred to me that any part of her body could be used. I was wrong.

Because she had registered as a donor, I was contacted by the Living Legacy within 2 hours. There actually is quite a bit of bone, tissue and skin that can be used from a recently deceased body. It was a bit of an annoyance when the call came (I was at my dad's, and we were beginning the process of notifying people, and making arrangements). However, I knew my mother would have wanted this, so I did consent, and took the 20 minutes to review her medical history with the donation coordinator.

Two days ago, I received a letter that her corneas had been used to help restore sight to two different individuals. I cannot tell you what a comforting though that was to both me and my dad. Even in death, my mom continued to give to those around her, and that would make her happy.

I am SO glad that she was a registered donor. Had she not "gotten around to it yet", like so many, many well-intentioned people out there, her gift to others would never have happened.

[deleted account]

I was against organ donation for a long time. Because I thought when I die I want ALL of me to be dead. That if there was ever a part of me living then I would not be completely dead, you know because of imprints left in an organ... Then I took and Death & Dying class and learned about how many ppl die each year because of lack of donation :( It made me feel bad! Seriously, what the hell am I going to do w/my body after i die? That's pretty selfish to burn all good living parts of me if someone else can use it! It is the ultimate form of recycling!!! If I could help somebody with their burns get skin and be less disfigured, or help a blind person see, maybe give a mother a chance at seeing her children go to college and become parents, etc. then why the hell not? I think this is one of those things that you grow closer to if it actually happens to someone you know! My grandpa donated some organs upon his death...this process actually was quite tough for me as they have to keep you alive to harvest and so your time of death is extended for this process...kinda weird. But he helped someone see and gave a kidney, liver, etc...those families have their loved ones for longer thanks to his very charitable donation. That is something that makes you soo proud to hear that they helped someone is such a SIGNIFICANT way with their death! And I have since changed my mind about you not fully dieing if you donate organs...I think an imprint is more of a memory rather then your soul living in the organ. But that is just my opinion!

I think an opt out method would save lots of lives! I think it would be better for many people who could use organ donation! I think that is a great idea, and don't frankly care who "owns" my body! I'm dead! Seriously who cares??? IDK I just kinda feel like if I was told my heart is going to stop in 24 hrs, hell 1! and this person would be able to see if I donated, this person would get off dialysis, this person would benefit from research...etc. then I would say GO FOR IT! So why not take the initiative and go for EVERYONE!

[deleted account]

My mother spent 10 years on dialysis and received a kidney transplant in 2000.
My brother spent 5 years on dialysis and received a kidney transplant in 2004.
My little sister is now on dialsys and her estimated wait for a kidney is 2013-2014 unless she is able to find a living donor.

So you can imagine how important it is for my family to give back to the medical community should something happen to any of us. Yes, I will donate whatever parts can be used to someone else so that they may live.

Charlie - posted on 05/06/2010

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OPT OUT , implies they already "own us " and while i am all for organ donation i dont think its right , i am a big believer in our rights to ownership over our own bodies so this doesn't really sit well with me .

I am a doner and have opted to donate everything when i die , the problem is in Australia we have a massive shortage because once we die our families have final say in whether we donate our organs or not regardless of whether we have registered as a doner or not .
I think the bettter way for us would be to make our choice to donate the final say legally without any contest from anyone including family .

Esther - posted on 05/05/2010

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Just wanted to make a pitch for leaving your body to science too. Leaving your body to science isn't just about some students getting to play around with scalpels. It's how they develop new techniques and medications that can save countless lives as well. Undoubtedly it played a role in developing the techniques for organ transplantation in the first place. And they are going to cut you regardless if you leave any organs for donation. I don't think leaving your body to science is any less valuable than leaving an organ to a specific person. It just may take a little longer to see the effects of your donation (so to speak).

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[deleted account]

Man Kate! You took my idea of a cool link for this topic! lol

Here's the show in my area: http://www.bodiesrevealed.com/

It looks so cool, but my hubby doesn't want to go because he thinks it will be gross. :P

I am an organ donor. I checked the "yes' box when I got my license (and my ID). I don't care where my body and/or organs go when I die. If they can help someone (by either being transplanted or going to medical research) then I am all for it. Why do I need my organs when I'm dead? I don't. I already know I do not want a casket (that's just a gross waste if you ask me!), so what's the difference?

As for the opt-out debate, I tend to err on the side of all you who said it's implying the gov't owns your body unless you day they don't. I think organ donation should be a choice, not something you have to un-choose when you never got to choose in the first place.

Krista - posted on 05/07/2010

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Mary, I'm so happy to hear that about your mom. That is a beautiful gift -- those people can now see all of the wonderful things in the world that your mom so appreciated.

Lucy - posted on 05/07/2010

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I think opt out makes total sense-

I am in the UK and although yesterday was our general election and we've ended up with a hung parliament (so who know who will be in charge), I hope this legislation does go through in the near future.

I have no problem with people having religious, political or personal reasons for not wanting to donate, but I think everyone should actually have to THINK about the issue and come to a decision. At the moment, there are so many people who just never think about becoming a donor, it never comes into their sphere of experience so by default, they are not a donor. It doesn't mean that all of these people are opposed to donation, they have just never had to think about it.

If, all things considered, a person decides to opt out, then fine. But at least they will have made an informed and considered opinion, not just floated along in ignorance.

On a practical note, in countries with the opt out system many more people are saved by essential organ transplants, suggesting that most people would agree to become a donor if they had to consider it properly.

Jaime - posted on 05/06/2010

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I haven't registered yet, but I plan to soon. I will opt to donate my organs--any and all that they can and will use, for either life-saving or scientific research purposes. A body is just going to rot in the ground anyway...so why not make use of it. If we're all about 'recycle' in other aspects of our lives, then why not our bodies too? Why crowd the cemeteries...leave some room I say! I don't really feel like it's a violation of my 'rights' if the government implements an 'opt out' system of organ donation. I agree that it will lead to more donors, thus more research can be done and more lives can be saved.



Our bodies are just flesh, bones and tissue...they are not what is remembered after we die.

Johnny - posted on 05/06/2010

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I must agree with those who feel that "opt out" implies a possession by the government of our bodies. I am very pro-organ donation, and have a practically monthly argument with my mother about her refusal to sign up (and I threaten to haunt her forever if she didn't donate mine if I died), but I think it is a dangerous precedent.

I personally feel that where I live, the best route to take would be to have people sign up when they pay their Medical Services Premium (government insurance payment), since everyone who lives here either has to pay for it or show proof that they can not afford to. I think that it would draw in more people.

We used to do the driver's license option, but unfortunately they moved away from that several years ago.

Now we have to seek out a form (sometimes available at a pharmacy or doctor's office) fill it out and mail it in. And even once you've done all that, they do not even send you a confirmation that it has been received or anything. And many people here still think that if they opted in 30 years ago on their driver's license that they are still organ donors, but they aren't. It is a huge problem and a very frustrating system.

But forcing people to contact the government to state that they do not want to have their organs donated is going too far in the opposite direction. But then I never agree with the concept of "opt out" for anything.

I do think, however, that if you agree to organ donation that the family should NOT have the right to change that. Both my husband and I are willing donors (for life saving or science) and would definitely make that choice for each other. But both of our mothers are opposed and before we were married they would have likely gone against our wishes. That makes me quite angry to think that they would have been allowed to go against our expressly stated wishes. And they would not have been allowed to do that for any other circumstances such as a DNR order or a living will.

Kate CP - posted on 05/06/2010

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When my biological father died (brain tumor) my mother had to sell his body to science to make rent for that month. It was one of the hardest things she did, but she's glad she was able to do it. Not only did it put a roof over her and my 3-month-old head, it may have helped to develop new treatments for aggressive tumors. Don't knock medical research. I'm also a fan of medical testing on animals. Yea, I said it. Without animal testing we wouldn't have things like organ transplants, skin grafts, blood transfusions, insulin, and a thousand other treatments performed daily. I also rescue animals and train dogs for a living. But I still use animal tested medications when I need them.

Katarina - posted on 05/06/2010

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I had to wait until I was 19 t become a donor. My family is catholic and my mom wouldn't sign the Parent/Gaurdian line so on my 19th birthday, I signed on as a donor. My only requirement is that I'm not used for medical research, or any part of me for that mater.

Kate CP - posted on 05/06/2010

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Oh, I'm a registered donor already. I just don't think they'll harvest from me. :/

Esther - posted on 05/06/2010

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I agree completely with Sarah. First off, I doubt the government is going to be doing anything weird or creepy with your body so I'm not sure that I see the problem with them being in charge of it on paper. The only goal is to increase the amount of available donor organs to help save as many lives as possible. If however you absolutely don't want anyone other than your family to be in charge, you can opt out. They are only in control if you let them be.

Kate - I understand your point and you may very well be right. However, if you are willing to be a donor, you should still register as such. Your suitability as a donor will be evaluated at the time of your death. There is a very good chance that there are still parts of your body that can be used. If not, nothing's lost by offering.

Sarah - posted on 05/06/2010

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I guess it just doesn't really bother me if the government has control of my body after i'm dead. I'll be dead, so it won't make an ounce of difference to me! (even if they DID take my corneas, which i've stated i wouldn't really want, it still wouldn't matter, i'd still be dead!)

If i was extremely passionate about NOT donating for whatever reason, then i would make sure i opted out. I think most people who were against it would ensure that.

I really think the opt out system would be hugely beneficial in getting more organs donated, which can only be a good thing IMO. :)

Jessica - posted on 05/06/2010

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I agree with Cathy S. The government already has too much control over our lives, I'm not giving them control over my body too. That being said I am an organ donor and so is my husband. If something heaven forbid happened to one of my children they would be too. I am 100% supportive of organ donation, I think the government should stay out of it.

Kate CP - posted on 05/06/2010

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Esther, I have an immune disorder which is why I don't think they'd take my organs. I know I can't donate blood, either. :/

Jess - posted on 05/06/2010

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This kind of reminds me of the phone directory, where your private details are written for the entire world to see and you have to pay to "opt out" How damm rude ! Why should I pay to stop you from listing my private details that no other company is allowed to publish !



Sorry that was a litle off topic, Im not sure how I feel about this in terms of organ donation. I guess it would comprimise the validity of the donation. If people weren't aware they were registered to donate or the family of that person didn't feel the donor was capable of making that decision in full knowledge. I think the legal fights over this would take far to long to solve and the organs would be no good by that stage.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2010

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This is the advert shown in the UK that finally got me off my bum to register.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/20...

The drivers license thing IS good, but many people have old licenses where the option wasn't given, or just don't drive! Like me!

I think if you have strong feelings against organ donation, then you are more likely to opt out (if that was the system) than someone bothering to opt in with the current system. Lot's of people think their families would know what they wanted, which isn't always the case. :)

Sara - posted on 05/05/2010

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I say, take 'em all. I have no problem with donating any organ, if it would help someone. If something were to happen to my child (heaven forbid) I would donate her organs as well. My husband actually wants his body donated to a "body farm" where scientists just chuck the body out in the elements and then track the rate of decomposition, the info they gather on rates of decomp helps solve crimes. As long as I could get some kind of ashes back, I'd be ok with that.

Dana - posted on 05/05/2010

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I'm really not sure whether I like the opt in or opt out idea. Here in the US, you get your license and they ask you whether you want to be a donor or not. I think I like that better than just having to opt out. Some people might not realize that they have to opt out and they may not be comfortable with that.
I personally am an organ donor and I'd love my body to be donated to science.

Amie - posted on 05/05/2010

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I think an opt out program would be better and make more people really think about it. Your body is already up to be donated but you will have to think about what, if any, donations you want to make when the time comes.
So long as the procedure is as easy to opt out of as it is to opt into and that family can object just like they do already for those who do opt in. Which I don't agree with either but something I think that should be available.

Rosie - posted on 05/05/2010

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i think it's a good idea if they make a great effort to make it easy for people to opt out. my mother has scared me alittle bit from organ donation.i still havn't made up my mind yet. she's a pediatric nurse and she was horrified at how some of the recipients live. she has said never ever to let her get an organ. i see her point, but if my child were in need of one i'm pretty sure i'd be clammoring for one. i don't know what the hell i'd do.

Jocelyn - posted on 05/05/2010

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I support the idea of an opt out system. I am an organ donor, and so are my kids (not sure about my hubby tho...something to check into) But only for their organs. We didn't check the tissues box because dh has a "thing" about them taking eyes and stuff lol. It doesn't seem to me that the gov't would "own" us; it strikes me more of a "we are taking precautions to help people to live" than "give us your body".

Jenny - posted on 05/05/2010

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I like the opt out idea too, it would increase donors for sure. I don't care where my body goes after I die. I'd be more than willing to donate it to research. Once I'm gone, I'm gone so if my legacy could be helping another to live, directly or indirectly through research, yay for me.

Celia - posted on 05/05/2010

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Children have such a hard time getting organs because so few have been registered. I was happy that we got an organ donor registry in with his birth certificate and SIN # information

Celia - posted on 05/05/2010

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I'd love an opt out rather than an opt in system!
As for people being squeamish about medical research or certain body parts I say the opt out option has check boxes for what you want to opt out of.

La - posted on 05/05/2010

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Esther I understand that research on cadavers has its benefits. I just prefer not to have my body used for those purposes.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2010

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I think you can register when you get your drivers license. Though i guess if you've had your license since before that came in, you'd have to register some other way.
I think an opt out system would make things a whole lot easier for a lot of people.

[deleted account]

They can have my body. I won't need it when I'm gone.

Where I am, they ask you when you get your driver's license if you want to be an organ donor. Basically you just say "yes" or "no" and that's that.

I'm guessing from this thread that in the UK you have to go out of your way to register? In that case, I like the opt out system better than opt in. Of course, I don't know much about it other than what I've read on here just now.

La - posted on 05/05/2010

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I like the idea of an opt out as opposed to opt in system. I would be willing to donate any part of myself to someone else if I died. I wouldn't want my body to be used as a science experiment though- I'd want it to go to people who need it to live.

Esther - posted on 05/05/2010

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Kate - your biggest organ is your skin, which a burn victim would be very grateful for. I'm sure there is still plenty of you that could be useful to someone.

Esther - posted on 05/05/2010

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I'm all for an opt out system. I think a lot of people just don't bother to sign up or even give it much thought and it could save a lot of lives. I'm pretty passionate about organ donation actually. When I was in high school I would always carry around codicils and encourage my friends to fill one out and stick it in their wallet. Here in the US (or at least in NJ, I'm actually not sure if it's nation wide) they make you choose whether you want to be a donor or not on your drivers license. I think that's a great system too. For me personally, I want them to use whatever they can use in whatever way they can best use it. Whether it be as a donor to a person or for medical research. Have at it. The rest is going to be burned & scattered anyway.

Jodi - posted on 05/05/2010

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From a personal perspective, I am also an organ donor, but refuse to have them donated for medical research - that's what freaks me out, LOL.

With regard to an opt out system, I believe as long as it is directly to save someone's life, then yes, that would be a great idea.

Currently, there is such a shortage of organs, that there is a global illegal trade in various organs from live donors who are being paid. Also, there is illegal trad in some countries of various organs, etc, from corpses (such as bones, teeth, hair....). I don't know if you have ever read City of Joy, but there is an example of the illegal trade of corpses in that book, and it has always stuck in my head as incredibly sad. This would not be necessary if there was no demand for it.

So in addition to providing additional organs to those in need, it would also be minimising the demand on the black market, and reducing the exploitation of the extremely poor people who tend to be the ones who sell their organs.

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