Organ donation opt in or opt out?

Tracey - posted on 10/11/2011 ( 77 moms have responded )

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In order to reduce transplant lists the UK government is thinking about changing the current opt in system to presumed consent to donate organs unless you have opted out.

I am happy for any part of my body being used to give someone else a better life once I am dead but I am uneasy with the government / health authority assuming it can take my body without asking.

Thoughts?

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Lady Heather - posted on 10/11/2011

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Wow. Yeah, you didn't kill them but why on earth would you pass up the chance to save someone? Pack it in? I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune if it was your child who needed a heart transplant. I'm sure that most people awaiting organs don't take it for granted. I'm sure they aren't happy that someone dies so that they might live. Those I know who have received organs are eternally grateful and have nothing but the deepest respect for their donors. I went to school with a girl who received her liver when she was 9. Should she have just "packed it in"? That was 20 years ago and she's still alive and well now.

As far as kids' organ donations go, I think I would find that very therapeutic to know that in my heartache I could spare the heartache of another mother.

Lady Heather - posted on 10/11/2011

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Well I'm all for opt out. I honestly can't say I understand why anyone wouldn't want to share their organs to give someone else life when they are no longer using them. I can't imagine an easier decision to make. So screw 'em if they can't be bothered to take their names off the list. Call me insensitive, but I rather think it's insensitive to be cool with somebody dying because you can't stand the thought of being buried without a heart or something.

Merry - posted on 10/12/2011

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It's hard to bite your tongue isn't it Jenny, but I know what your thinking I bet. Me too.

Fact is it's incredibly selfish to stand over a dying human with the cure in your hand and say suck it up.
And by refusing to donate that is a roundabout way of doing just that. Only difference is you don't have to look into their dying eyes as you refuse to help.

Stifler's - posted on 10/11/2011

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If people adamant that they DON'T want to be a donor they would just opt out though. If they can't be bothered then they can't really care too much. I'm not sure why anyone would be dead set against it.

Merry - posted on 10/12/2011

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I mean if you refuse organ donations or blood donations do you also refuse poison antidotes? Tylenol? Vaccines? Surgery? Bandages?
I mean how little can you value your life to refuse any lifesaving or life enriching products!

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Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I couldn't come at egg donation. What if the kid looked like my kids. Weird.

Merry - posted on 10/13/2011

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On a side note I would also donate an egg to a family memeber or a friend if they needed it.

Yes,that is an exception. If a family member or close friend needed an egg I would donate. It would be hard as I do see children bron from my eggs as mine but if I was asked sincerely I doubt I could refuse.
Although I'd encourage adoption to anyone who couldn't conceive.

Merry - posted on 10/13/2011

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I am saving all my organs for my life and the life of my family. If one of my kids needs an organ or blood I will instantly donate.
I don't donate blood currently, I feint with blood draws. But I would gladly donate blood if need arose for my type but since I'm a+ I've heard it's not too needed.
My ovaries and eggs are different IMO, they aren't life saving organs and my eggs carry my genes and I don't want to have children born to other people. When I'm dead if they want my eggs for study, fine, but I hope by then they're old :)

Stifler's - posted on 10/13/2011

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I wish we had a blood bank here. From 16 on I donated blood every 3 months. Then I got a needle stick injury and then pregnant and then pregnant again. I think you have to wait a year to donate blood again after that.

Becky - posted on 10/13/2011

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I would donate blood, but apparently I can't because I have lived in a country where AIDS is endemic. I'm not sure whether that disqualifies me from donating other organs and tissues as well. It's ridiculous really, it's been 6 years since I left there, just test me for AIDS and then take my blood! Oh yeah, I get tested for AIDS every time I get pregnant! I'm not sure whether I can donate my kidneys because I had a parasite as a kid that damaged them, but if they are still usable, yes, I would donate them. Same with my liver. I too see egg/ovary donation differently and I would donate my eggs, but I think in another thread someone was saying there is an age limit on that, so at 35, I might be too old. And my ovaries, well, I'm 35 and have PCOS, so I don't know who'd want them!

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2011

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Hmm I donate blood too and was considered for a bone marrow transplant for my Auntie who is suffering from a rare form of cancer ...so far they have found no matches for her.



Would I consider donating an organ if I was the only hope and a perfect match and I could live without it ?



ABSOLUTELY.



If your sister , brother or child needed something from you would you NOT donate ?



On a side note I would also donate an egg to a family memeber or a friend if they needed it.

Johnny - posted on 10/13/2011

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Actually Rebecca, I do donate blood, and occasionally platelets, every 2 months. I am on the bone marrow donor registry, as are both my parents, but none of us has ever been called. I can not donate a kidney because I had an acute kidney failure and they would not be in good enough shape. Also because I am at risk of further kidney issues. I can not donate my liver because of medication I took in college. If I had been more aware of the potential harm to my liver from it, I would not have taken it, but I was young and naive. I do not think of egg donation (creating a new life) in the same vein.

I personally do find it immoral to not want to share life and health if you can. If you aren't using something or don't need it for health, then by all means, you should share. I find it selfish. An opt out policy does not mean that the government is forcing people to donate. They still have the option to choose not to. I would oppose a law forcing people do so. You can't legislate against jackassedness.

Tania - posted on 10/13/2011

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I received my kidney from my Dad. I also have my sister who will donate her kidney should I ever need another transplant. My Dad has never had any health issues since the transplant. It is one of the most unselfish acts a human can make.

Angela - posted on 10/13/2011

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I also support stem-cell research.

ME too Brittany

About the law in the USA you are right I never knew until after a patient died if they were an organ donor. I can see how it could be a conflict of interest but to be honest I can't imagine anyone I ever worked with not saving a life just so they can save another life via organ donation, makes not any sense.

In the UK are they just not asking you to opt in by force they are just asking you to be responsible and make a choice now.

Brittany - posted on 10/13/2011

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On a side note, about being an organ donor, the EMS, Nurse, Police or anyone else who may know if the patient is an organ donor is FORBIDDEN to tell the doctor if the patient is or is not until they declare a time of death.

Every hospital in the USA has a strict policy on this. The doctor is not to know if the patient in an organ donor until time of death. If it is reveled to that doctor the patient is an organ donor the doctor could be removed from the case. Also anyone involved could loose their jobs or be suspended.

Brittany - posted on 10/13/2011

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Rebecca,

" If everyone here is so concerned about people dying from lack of organs, I would like to know if you are willing to donate your organs while you are living? After all, you only "need" one kidney to function. People can safely donate up to 1/3rd of their liver and still survive. You can live with only one lung and have five lobes that can be divided up to share with someone who needs a lung transplant. Blood vessels can be stripped and donated to those with vascular issues. You can donate eggs, sperm, blood, plasma, bone marrow, and other body parts repeatedly throughout your life. Do you? Every month? At every opporunity? Are you actively seeking out donation opportunities by placing your bone marrow on a nationwide donor registry? If donating organs and body parts is so critical, and it's so "immoral" to not donate to those in need, why draw the line at death? Why doesn't the government require everyone, regardless of their age, to share their organs during life as well as in death? Where are you going to draw the line on what parts of your body are free for the taking? "

You can survive and live without your large and small intestine, stomach, stomach, spleen and pancreases. Let's say you have to have your spleen removed. Your spleen filters your blood. The live will take over the functions of the spleen. When an organ is missing or damaged the Liver will take over the functions.

Rebecca, if you were to call me right now and tell me you needed a kidney and I was the only match in the whole entire world, I would be on the next flight out. I have donated blood and I do so as often as I can. I have donated marrow, although it was uncomfortable, it saved someones life. I am on a national bone marrow donor list. I have donated Plasma. I have looked into donating eggs, simply because I have not desire to have another child by birth. The process for me to donate is going to be long. My oldest sister has cerebral palsy, my second oldest sister has a sever case of mental retardation and my little brother has down syndrome. When I was pregnant, all four times, I was high risk. I even had to go to a Genealogist to help determine the risks and chances of my children being born with an "abnormality". If I am able to donate my eggs then, yes that is something I would like to do. I am not going to use them anymore and if it will make some one else's life complete and happy then I want to help.

This is going to sound very odd and I am sure I will get a lot of bashing for this but, in truth children ages 2 and under are the best for organ donation. Children that young or still in the womb carry an extra-cellular matrix. This matrix allows them to grow body parts should one be damaged. They can re-grow nails, arms, legs, toes, organs, whatever. This is the same reason why, in emergency situations, the doctor may have to break a child's bone to deliver the child. That bone will heal WAY faster then your or mine and it will not look any different.

There are studies being done on the extra-cellular matrix of pigs, since theirs does not go away. It has been used to re-grow body parts on humans.

Angela - posted on 10/13/2011

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I agree with you Brittany. That is not true at all I was a nurse and I never saw anything like that happen to those who were organ donors. In fact I always saw medical staff fight tooth and nail to save a life. Medical professionals do not like to lose a patient. It is tough when it happens young or old.

Organs save and enrich so many people lives. OPT out and if you are too lazy to do so over what you find is so important then that is your responsibility just my opinion btw. !

Now my eggs, sperm etc that is different but then again I would consider it depending on the circumstances. I try to never say never :)

Brittany - posted on 10/13/2011

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Sherri,
" When I got my license we did have a form to be one or not. However, even though I am for organ donation I felt they wouldn't try as hard to save me if I was in an accident etc. just to be able to harvest my organs. So I refused. My parents and husband are well aware of my wishes and will handle it if said time comes that they need to do so. "

I have heard this over and over that if someone is an organ donor the doctors will not work as hard to save them. This is a crock of crap and the doctor will loose his license if such a case were to happen.

If you were in a car accident, for example, and you are pronounced brain dead they must put you on life support. When the time comes, which is a decision by your family, to remove you from life support, your heart must STOP BEATING for 2 full mins before they can harvest your organs.

If it is proven that the doctor could have saved your life and choose not to he or she can and will be charged with manslaughter.

Angela - posted on 10/13/2011

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Opt out option have done so since I was 20 years old. In the USA they put in on your drivers licenses.

You have to be clinically dead and or brain dead for them to take your organs, they put you on life support to get your organs so tech you are alive but only artificially.

Edit to add any argument about being a live donor is a different subject really.

Iridescent - posted on 10/13/2011

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During life, donating an organ (even if it's a "spare") puts high risk against your own health. It's not even a matter of trading one life for another - it could cause both to die. That said, if the right lobe of my liver could replace my daughter's, we'd use it for exactly that. There are a lot of people out there that do - sadly, it's mostly family of the one that needs it though and often the same disorder is carried my most or all of the family members. They don't often consider the larger picture of others that need it. The liver especially would be ideal, because it's able to regenerate within about 6 weeks of donating! You're really not losing anything at all. There is one family that is looking for just this lobe of a liver right now to save their baby. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby-Boy-B...

As I said before, reproductive organs I would not donate - eggs, ovaries, sperm. No. Those, for one, are not necessary for a person to live, only to reproduce, and they could adopt easier and cheaper than trying to get a transplant of organs to do so and make them work within their body. My blood is not acceptable as a donation or I would give it. There is a man in Australia that is responsible, literally, for saving many children that have needed RhoGam. This is above and beyond what is and should be required of him, and is a huge sacrifice. It should not be required, no. http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/87/36190/...

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If everyone here is so concerned about people dying from lack of organs, I would like to know if you are willing to donate your organs while you are living? After all, you only "need" one kidney to function. People can safely donate up to 1/3rd of their liver and still survive. You can live with only one lung and have five lobes that can be divided up to share with someone who needs a lung transplant. Blood vessels can be stripped and donated to those with vascular issues. You can donate eggs, sperm, blood, plasma, bone marrow, and other body parts repeatedly throughout your life. Do you? Every month? At every opporunity? Are you actively seeking out donation opportunities by placing your bone marrow on a nationwide donor registry? If donating organs and body parts is so critical, and it's so "immoral" to not donate to those in need, why draw the line at death? Why doesn't the government require everyone, regardless of their age, to share their organs during life as well as in death? Where are you going to draw the line on what parts of your body are free for the taking?

Sherri - posted on 10/13/2011

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When I got my license we did have a form to be one or not. However, even though I am for organ donation I felt they wouldn't try as hard to save me if I was in an accident etc. just to be able to harvest my organs. So I refused. My parents and husband are well aware of my wishes and will handle it if said time comes that they need to do so.

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There should be a choice/consent.
For me go right ahead either way.I am no use but my organs are, so take them.My family will know to say yes not to delay or i will haunt them lol.Just joken.

Katherine - posted on 10/13/2011

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I think you should have to check the box and sign off as soon as you get that license and not leave it blank. I know so many people that do.

It should be mandatory. And I agree with Michelle, they are making a drive to push you to MAKE those decisions.

Michelle - posted on 10/13/2011

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I am an organ donor and have told all my family my wishes.
As Feen has said, the biggest problem is with the families not agreeing when the time comes to make the decision. My husband and I have discussed it at length and we both want our organs donated. The rest of the family also know just in case my husband isn't around to make that decision.
I know the drive on increasing organ donation is focussing on discussing your wishes with your family BEFORE they have to make that choice. I think that's why the government has gone to the point of the opt out option.

Charlie - posted on 10/13/2011

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Yeah it still is Emma but it isnt legally binding your family can say no which is the biggest problem we have here, lots of people want to donate not so many of their families go through with it after death they have final say because it isnt legally binding as is the registry ...you can register but they can still go against your wishes.

Everyone needs some sort of Identification I dont see why we cannot just make it part of the Identification application , makle it compulsary to fill it in and make it legally binding so no one can change it.

Becky - posted on 10/12/2011

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Our box is on the back of our health care card, probably because we don't have paper licences anymore. But same thing. :)

Stifler's - posted on 10/12/2011

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Didn't things used to be that way? Where you ticked the box on your license?

Charlie - posted on 10/12/2011

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But isnt it the government making a decision over your body without your consent, a decision you have to opt out of?



That doesnt sit right with me , there must be other ways of doing this without violating a persons rights to their own body.



Why not make it essential to tick the box yes/no when you get your license ? why not make it a legally binding contract with no legal avenues to contest ? Majority of people get their licenses this would increase the rate of donation if it were made legal.



Statistics show 98% of Australians agree with organ donation, if that 98% had the law on their side when they die in a legally binding contract when they get their license , write their will or sign the registery it would make a huge impact.



The biggest issue isnt getting people to donate it is their families refusing donation even after the person whos organs are in question has requested them be donated.

Iridescent - posted on 10/12/2011

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For myself - I am an organ donor. But I cannot donate most organs. I can donate vessels, eyes, skin, bone. Not lungs, heart, kidneys, liver. Because of health history, my organs are highly likely to kill me and only work because they are in me - the additional stress of a transplant to them would cause the death of whoever they went into in all likelihood. One example of this is a lady that is now a member of our UCD group. Her son is 9 and has had 3 liver transplants as of now. He got his first at 2 and it lasted until 8 years (really good, actually, since average is 5 years). The second transplant failed because it had been harvested after the recommended time frame and the liver was dead when it was placed, so he immediately needed a third. The third was placed, and now he has Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency as a result of a defective liver. He did not have this disease before. This is a really nasty disease, and the treatment for it is a liver transplant. Unfortunately, since he's had 3 already, he cannot have another. It's this or death. They're doing their best with it. The donor - nobody knew they had the disease. If they had known it was in the family, nobody in the family would have been able to donate major organs.

There are limitations, and there are reasons for the guidelines there. Having an opt-out program vs opt-in would open the door to more people getting the organs they need to survive, not by taking them from people who don't want to donate (because they'd fill out the opt out form very quickly), but would give the unknown huge number of those who don't care either way, or who don't remember to check the little box on a form. So instead of having to actively do something to help others, they'd have to actively do something to preserve their deceased body. I think it would be a good change.

Charlie - posted on 10/12/2011

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This goes against my beliefs that my body is my own any decision made with my body must have MY consent.



This takes my body without my consent leaving me only the choice to opt out.



It is my choice as it is my body to make that choice it shouldnt be placed on any person from birth before consent.



Having said that I AM a full organ donor, I have made specific and clear instructions on my will , on the registery and with my family who all respect my wishes to have my organs donated.



I think a better way would be for all requests to donate whether it is on the registery or in a will or on yuour license to be the final and legal say of the person in question without contest from anyone.



I also think it is vital doners TALK to their families.



I understand the need for organs which is why I have ensured my wishes are met but no the government can not and will not make choices for my body.

Iridescent - posted on 10/12/2011

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JW's do not accept blood transfusions. This is because of how they interpret a bible verse, which other denominations understand to refer to eating blood, if they acknowledge it at all. They are encouraged not to accept organ donations for the same reason, but it is not required.



http://4jehovah.org/help-jw-no-blood.php

Iridescent - posted on 10/12/2011

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In all honesty, chances are a homeless person would not fall into the category. To be an organ donor, you have to be able to prove health and track medical history and medication/drug use. This cannot be done with a homeless person, as the example used, so he wouldn't even be a candidate even with an opt-out.

Katherine - posted on 10/12/2011

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My problem isn't what can be done, it's the government deciding for me. It's a principal thing for me. Maybe I'm being stubborn, but I would like to make that choice. So any homeless person would fall into this category? Someone who DOESN'T have a family like someone already stated?

Is that right? What if someone didn't fill out the form on the back of their license out of sheer stupidity, but didn't want their organs donated? I am all for organ donation, I have filled out and signed. I just don't agree with this proposal.

Iridescent - posted on 10/12/2011

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Considering we're relying pretty heavily on someone else to have a liver to save my daughter in the future, I'm with the new method, with restrictions. I'd have problems with it if it weren't to save lives. For example - ovaries. They can do transplants of them, but does that make it right? I don't think so without your permission. So to some extent, yes. My heart, if it would save a life, you got it. Liver, kidneys, arteries, sure. Skin? Sure. They can use anything. It's amazing what can be done!

Merry - posted on 10/12/2011

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Presume away IMO. What if theres no specifications as to remains? No family, no will. What do they do? Well they buck up and make a choice for the dead person about what to do with their empty body.

Katherine - posted on 10/12/2011

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I am happy for any part of my body being used to give someone else a better life once I am dead but I am uneasy with the government / health authority assuming it can take my body without asking.


I feel exactly the same way! I am an organ donor. But that was by choice, even though I made that choice I wouldn't want the government presuming they could take my organs.

Merry - posted on 10/12/2011

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I never understood that either, i remember a family in Canada....? Who had high order multiples but refused them blood transfusions and one died from lack of blood. The gov I believe took custody of the remaining babies to save their lives as they would die without blood.

I can't fathom why their parents would prefer their babies die them have donor blood

Becky - posted on 10/12/2011

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I do know that JW's won't accept blood donations. I don't know about organs. I don't know why and I don't understand it. I'm not sure how they would feel about donating ones' organs though.

Brittany - posted on 10/12/2011

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How man of you on here would be able to stand over your dying child, husband, mother, friend and tell them to "Suck it up, maybe it is time for you to pack it in."

I would NEVER be able to say that to my child.

Brittany - posted on 10/12/2011

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I just wanted to share this with you all. My information might bit a tad bit off but, very close.

1. 104,748 U.S. patients are currently waiting on an organ. 4,000 new patients will be added every month.

2. Everyday 18 people die from not having an organ transplant.

3. 10% to 20% of those waiting are under the age of 18.

4. Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act.

Those against organ donation let me ask you why? Really what is the big deal? You are going to be put in a box in the ground or burned. What use do you have for them? To pollute more ground water? To have PERFECTLY good organs BURNED while a 4 year old child suffers? Come on.....you could SAVE SOMEONES LIFE!

If you or you child, Lord forbid, needed it wouldn't you want it available or would you rather stand by and watch them die?

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2011

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Where did my comment go?



"If you are facing organ failure, maybe it's just time to pack it in and call it a day rather than waste time coveting someone else's body parts."



So do you think my 9 year old cousin who is going to have her 3rd heart surgery next month and will be receiving human parts is "coveting" others organs? Is she a predator too? Or perhaps she is joyful to be able to run with her classmates without nearing fainting as her heart can't keep up with her body. And even more joyful she is not at death's door as she spend her toddler years.



It is one thing to state you are opposed to an opt out system as it makes you feel uncomfortable. It is quite another to suggest those who need one should just die. Your comments to that extreme are morally bankrupt.



I'll leave it at that before I have another post removed for really saying how I feel.

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@Rebecca
Your life is very different from your childs, I would give anything to have my boy back!

An opt out system makes more sense to me but I do agree that family should be able to opt out if someone hasn't already done so. If a person has already made it clear that they do want to donate then the family has no right to go against that decision.

Johnny - posted on 10/12/2011

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Opt out system. If you can't share, you should at least have to take the effort to let the rest of us know that. Opt-out gives you the option, the choice. Your rights are still in place and no one else owns that. They are not making the decision for you. The decision still belongs to the individual.

And I can not say how strongly I disagree with allowing the family to opt out a person after their death if they had previously asked to be an organ donor. That takes away personal choice entirely! It should only be in the hands of the person whose body it was.

Rebecca, your comments are incredibly insensitive. I'm really horrified by all the callous comments I've been reading on this site recently. Apparently empathy is dying out. How sad.

Corinne - posted on 10/12/2011

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I'm for the opt-out. My husband and I are registered donors and would agree to our childrens organs being used if it meant another child was given a chance.
Yeah, not everyone who needs an organ has used and abused their body. What about babies? What about those who have inherited heart, lung or liver problems? My friend was born with cystic fibrosis, should he just pack it in? I'm glad he received his new lungs and was given the opportunity to get up on stage, play his guitar and sing his nuts off again.

Becky - posted on 10/12/2011

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With an opt-out system they still have the choice though, there is just more responsibility placed on them to make sure they make people aware of that choice. I agree that family should be able to opt-out for a person if they know the person felt strongly about not donating but did not get a chance to opt-out. There would also need to be an implementation period before it took place, because obviously if someone died the day the change went into effect and they had not opted out, it would not be fair to donate their organs anyway!

Tania - posted on 10/12/2011

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Wow...I'm sure am glad no one told me to pack it in when I had stage 4 kidney disease and needed a kidney trasplant. A donation a a second chance at life and I am so thankful I was given that chance. I see what I have now in my 2 year olds eyes because if it.

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I am utterly for organ donation but you can't call it a donation if you have no choice in the matter. I am for personal choice first and foremost. I think it's wasteful to NOT donate whatever usable bits to people who really need them but I could not make that decision for some one else.

Vicki - posted on 10/12/2011

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Opt out system for sure. I understand the viewpoint of predatory thoughts about organs but in reality it's simpler than that. If someone is going to die without an organ why leave one to rot in the ground when it could do some good if the person was and the family is willing? Opt-out should also include family members deciding to opt out after the incident.

Dying is a part of life, I do believe that, however it's a part of life that can be put off with healthy living and modern medicine. I would accept a blood transfusion if needed and would sure as hell accept a donated organ for my son if he needed it to live, paying as full respect as possible to the grieving family.

Tara - posted on 10/12/2011

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When I die my body will go to organ donation and after that or whatever can't be used can be used for medical science, I don't mind being a donor or a cadaver when I'm dead and gone, if for whatever reason my family decides not to do that, I am being cremated anyhow, if they follow those wishes.
I have absolutely no desire to be left intact buried under ground to rot and pollute the earth.
If my eyes can help someone continue to see after an accident, then great, if my heart can keep another mom alive to see her daughter get married and have babies then fabulous, if my kidneys can help a young man live to graduate college and become a great scientist or doctor or humanitarian, fantastic!!
But I do think that people should be allowed to choose this way. I don't want anyone having ownership over my remains. If after I am gone my family can not bear the thought of me being sliced and diced and distributed, fine, I can accept their need for me to remain whole, so no it should be opt in.

Merry - posted on 10/12/2011

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And I'd argue that death is certainly NOT a part of life,
It's the end of life.
The opposite of life.
Ceasing to live.

[deleted account]

I agree with Cathy S. that an opt-in system should definitely have a provision allowing the family to opt-out the deceased after death.

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