Organ Donor? Not Me…

I just read an article about a California surgeon facing trial in an organ donation case. He is accused of hastening the death of a very ill man in order to harvest his organs. The man’s mother sued the hospital and got a $250,000. settlement, though the hospital admitted no wrongdoing…hmmm…

It seems so morally admirable to be an organ donor, at least in theory. Like giving blood. But I confess that its exactly for this reason that I said no when asked recently if I wished to be an organ donor. I would not want to live on life support, but I frankly don’t trust anyone except my loved ones to make the decision to pull the plug. At that point, I would be more than glad to help someone else live a longer or better life as I leave this one. (Not that anyone could even use my diseaed organs, I don’t think. Maybe my eyes..)

But I don’t want medical staff, or anyone else who doesn’t love me, speeding me along on my journey for purposes of expedience. 

How about you? Are you a donor? Or not?

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13 Responses to “Organ Donor? Not Me…”

  1. dju316 Says:

    Anyone who is unwilling to be an organ donor should refuse to accept a transplant.

    About 50% of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list if they need a transplant we’ll always have an organ shortage.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage — give 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.

  2. Amber Says:

    Psych – sometimes you are so reactionary it astounds me! Are you sure you aren’t British??? These stories happen 1 in a million times. If I am at the point where I am to the point so critical that my life can be hastened up to die and I can help someone else and my suffering can be lessened and the medical expenses can be lessened and the bed can be freed for someone who really needs it – I say Pull the plug. Let me do it if I am able!

    The fact of the matter is.. if something bad is going to happen to you, if you are going to be a “victim” you are going to be. Does that mean that you are not going to a mortuary in case someone will rape your dead body? That happens too! You can’t guard against everything in life. You have to live with the best of intentions. You can’t live in fear of what MIGHT happen.

    I have a HUGE donor symbol on my drivers license and DNR paperwork on my person at all times. I have suffered enough in this lifetime. If God says its my time… then it is my time.

  3. psychscribe Says:

    dju316 – your points are well taken. Thank you for writing your point of view here. Please read on below in my further comment to Amber:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think I communicated very effectively in this post…

    Amber –
    My point was that I don’t want to be an official labled donor….thus allowing for the possibility of wrongdoing by a stranger. Nor would I want to live on life support, as my living will indicates. But I DID write “I would not want to live on life support, but I frankly don’t trust anyone except my loved ones to make the decision to pull the plug. At that point, I would be more than glad to help someone else live a longer or better life as I leave this one.” I think you are being really hard on me here, my friend.

  4. Amber Says:

    Im sorry.. sometimes you cant hear tone on text… I was trying to sound lightly cheeky. I guess that doesn’t come across here. I would never hurt you … which you know. Sorry.

    I get your point. I guess we all have to choose our own comfort zone. Still, when you are in that kind of condition, do you really want to put that kind of strain on those you love when they are already under so much?

    I know what I went through with my mother. The millions and billions of decisions to be made. All of the paperwork, the stress. Im not sure that anyone would be in their right mind to make great choices at that time.

    *hugs – sorry if I sounded rude…*

  5. Amber Says:

    P.S. working on Design.. should have it for you by next week.

  6. psychscribe Says:

    Amber, regarding design: Thank you!

  7. psychscribe Says:

    Amber, I know you wouldn’t intentionally hurt me…thanks for responding as you did here, I feel so much better. It freaked me out to think that I might lose a friendship out of my own opinion, or fear.

    Regarding the stress I would put on my family, if its all laid out in my living will it shouldn’t cause stress…they would hopefully feel helped by the fact that they were doing what mom/wife wanted.

    Anyway, hugs back to you too xxxooo Psych

  8. SanityFound Says:

    Psych, I don’t know about this one honestly – from my point of view it sounds like the mother is just suing for the sake of suing to get money or she is not accepting of her childs death. When you don’t accept that someone has died one tends to find other excuses, other avenues “it was this ones fault, it was that ones fault, it was was was”.

    We always need to find a reason for someone whom we love passing on. My own mother blamed the doctors even though she was aware that his liver was beyond beyond beyond repair and that he had cancer practically in every cell of his body. I remember her telling people for years afterwards that they had screwed it up and killed him.

    My own friend who died in December, his mother is still claiming that it is the doctors who killed him. In the long run, he had stage three cancer when he first went to the doctor – even then it was far beyond chemo… but we look for excuses.

    This article reminds me of this, perhaps I am wrong but this is what I think.

    I personally want to donate my organs, I will have no use for them once I have passed on and if they will save anothers life then I will rest in peace.

    Great thinking post for me, thanks hun!

  9. SanityFound Says:

    Sorry some how missed saying that I was talking about my father

  10. psychscribe Says:

    San. I hear you loud and clear and agree with every point you made. Sometimes people do blame the doctors and the health care system. But again I need to clarify, I was talking about WHO decides when to pull the plug and carry out the wishes of the dying person. We can agree to disagree here…I would just prefer it to be my loved ones…Medicine is still a business and doctors and hospitals still need to earn a bottom line…and sometimes the health care system is not so kindly as Grey’s Anatomy…..For me it is obviously a trust issue…

  11. psychscribe Says:

    San. I hear you loud and clear and agree with every point you made. Sometimes people do blame the doctors and the health care system. But again I need to clarify, I was talking about WHO decides when to pull the plug and carry out the wishes of the dying person. We can agree to disagree here…I would just prefer it to be my loved ones…Medicine is still a business and doctors and hospitals still need to earn a bottom line…and sometimes the health care system is not so kindly as Grey’s Anatomy…..For me it is obviously a trust issue…

  12. SanityFound Says:

    Psych I can totally understand, for me I would prefer my family to make that decision though in that state I feel bad about putting the onus on them (not that they would really care but hey).

    I honestly don’t know if I could live on life support, my will (which I am not allowed to create till I own more stuff apparently) will state that if I have limited brain activity that they must pull the plug. Sometimes death can be so messy, I rather take the hurt and pain from my “family” and make that decision for them. Don’t know if that makes sense, I just woke up… never good without my coffee!

  13. Bob Aronson Says:

    To all:

    I’m not surre if the example cited is urban myth or real but the fact is that the people who recover organs are not the same people who declare brain death. In most cases they don’t even communicate with one another.

    Grateful heart transplant recipient (and organ donor)
    Bob Aronson
    Jacksonville, Florida
    bob@baronson.org

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