Has it ever crossed your mind to become an organ donor? The need is always great. In fact, every day, nearly two dozen people die while waiting for a life-saving transplant.
There are plenty of myths and rumors flying around that prevent people from taking this important step. The truth is that being an organ donor can save the lives of 8 other people and help more than 50 people. Perhaps taking a look at some of the myths and coming into a deeper understanding of the facts will help, if you are considering this important decision.
Organ Donation Myths
Age is not a factor for organ donation. Older people may feel they cannot be organ donors because of their age. So far, the oldest person in the United States to donate organs was 93 years old. Your age is not important, only the health and condition of your organs.
Medical problems are not usually a barrier to donation. Exceptions to this are those with HIV infection, a systemic infection or active cancer. The transplant team makes a determination at the time of death whether or not organs are in a condition to be used.
One of the major myths that hold people back is the fear of not getting proper treatment should they be involved in an accident or have any serious health issue. When you are admitted to a hospital, the doctors and nurses there are charged with saving your life. If they have gone to all lengths to save your life and failed, only then is organ donation a possibility.
Some of the other myths revolve around the wealthy being able to purchase organs, and unscrupulous persons selling organ donor parts to the highest bidder. These scenarios make for good movies, however, in real life, buying and selling organs in the U.S. has harsh penalties, including prison time and hefty fines. It is a federal offense.
Facts for the Organ Donor
Being an organ donor is a way to save lives. Most of the major religions in the United States consider organ donation as a great act of love and generosity toward others. It does not cost your family anything when your organs are donated.
Patients who have been declared brain dead make up the majority of deceased organ donors. Brain death and coma are two different things and are not to be confused. Patients in a coma can recover and, indeed, many have, some even after several years. Brain death, on the other hand, is final. Without mechanical support, the body will die, because the main nerve center is no longer functioning.
The main requirement for organ donors is that the organs be in good health and good condition at the time of death. The process is one that is carried out with complete dignity and integrity. Organ donors of all ethnic groups are needed. The transplant success rate is higher when there is a match between people of the same ethnic backgrounds.
While it is important to have the designation on your driver’s license or identification, that isn’t always enough. If you are considering this life-giving act of generosity, you will want to make it official. Find out more about being an organ donor at Donate Life America.
Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., are caring attorneys specializing in personal injury law. We serve the southwest Florida area, including the communities of North Port, Englewood, and Port Charlotte. If you have a personal injury case and would like a consultation regarding your options, contact us. We are happy to offer you a complimentary consultation.