Organ Donor - yes or no?

@Stiletto (4584)
July 17, 2007 1:14pm CST
I read an article today about organ donation in which the Chief Medical Officer in the UK has said that everyone should be treated as a potential organ donor ("assumed consent") unless they choose to "opt-out" of the system. That's the opposite of the current system here in the UK where you need to register your intention to donate your organs after death or alternatively doctors have to seek the relatives consent instead. Unfortunately although surveys suggest that 7 out of 10 people support the idea of donating their organs only a fifth of the UK population (13 million people) have actually added their names to the organ donation register which suggests that it's just one of those things that people mean to do but don't get round to actually doing. Due to the lack of registered donors someone dies every day while on the waiting list for a transplant. I am a registered organ donor anyway and I must admit the idea of "assumed consent" makes perfect sense to me. I understand that some people have religious beliefs that mean they don't wish to donate their organs and that's fair enough - they can "opt-out" so that their organs will not be used. Apart from religious reasons I don't really understand why anyone would object to their organs being used because after all - they're no use to us once we're dead! So are you a registered organ donor? Would you support a system of "assumed consent" and if not, why not? If you wouldn't want your organs to be used after death I'm genuinely interested to hear your reasons. I'm also interested to hear how other countries deal with this issue as the article I was reading was solely about the UK. You can read the article here http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20070717/thl-uk-britain-organs-b2e59e8.html
6 people like this
10 responses
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
17 Jul 07
I like the idea of assumed consent. I am a registered donor because I feel it is the least I can do for someone when I am finished using them. I like the idea of saving someone's life or helping them to see the beauty around us and to have a better life. I think a lot of people don't even think about it and just never bother. It is such a shame. I would totally support assumed consent and hope the idea catches on here in Canada.
@Stiletto (4584)
17 Jul 07
Well I think that the surveys the article refers to are probably right - in fact I would be surprised in a way if it wasn't more than 7 out of 10 people who would be happy for their organs to be used. Apart from religious beliefs (and although I don't agree with them if that's their beliefs then fair enough) I just can't think of a good reason NOT to donate. I think it's a shame that people die needlessly just because someone didn't get round to registering their intentions to donate.
2 people like this
@NeoComp (1320)
• United States
17 Jul 07
I don't think I would even be an organ donor. I don't think my organs are good enough. But if I did die.. I think it would be cool to donate my brain to a robot or something.
2 people like this
@Stiletto (4584)
17 Jul 07
Why don't you think your organs are good enough NeoComp? You never know - I'm sure they could make use of at least one or two :)
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50448)
• United States
17 Jul 07
I am an organ donor. Not only did I check the box on my license, but my family and friends know that is what I want. The only organ I refuse to donate is my uterus. A month after reading about a uterus transplant (uterus good for only 2 years), I am sure this is something I don't want. I also read an article about the updated health of a woman who had a face transplant. I am fine with that. If they want my face in the first place, LOL. So they can have whatever they want with the exception of my uterus. Although, they will NOT want my liver. Heck, I don't want my liver.
@Stiletto (4584)
17 Jul 07
LOL - I suspect my liver probably won't be that much use to anyone either by the time I'm finished with it!
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
18 Jul 07
Oh my goodness I'm sorry to hear that. Well I have to say with me it's entirely self-inflicted I'm afraid.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50448)
• United States
18 Jul 07
I always joke I got the bad liver without the fun. Not that I could stand hangovers anyway. I already have migraines. I hope that something can be done though, to help your liver and your health.
@icelady (11)
• Belgium
18 Jul 07
I myself would not have any problems donating my organs for those in need of them , though i would have to say that the same thing doesn't apply to the organs of a loved one ! I would hate the fact that i would have to burrie a loved one missing a few ! I hate to admit it , but i wouldn't give me closure , am i crazy for thinking like i do , or is this natural ?
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
19 Jul 07
Interesting - so you mean that as long as there was some part of them still around, even if it was being used by someone else, then you would feel as if they were not completely gone?
• Belgium
19 Jul 07
that's exactly what i mean , i'd always have the feeling that somewhere there'd be a person going about their life with a part of the one i'd be missing ! silly maybe , but still , that's the way i'd feel !
@academic2 (7009)
• Uganda
23 Jul 07
It is a good idea to donate organs-but recent developments are making the otherwise, kind gesture to humanity look ugly! There are Doctors Known to unscrupulously remove kidneys from people who visit them for non organ problems-they sedate their victims and when they wake up, one of their kidneys will have been taken away. Secondly, in China I witnessed in a documentary that there are some organ patients from Europe who are taking advantage of the high execution rates of criminals in China to book organs from the slain criminals-this raises a lot of ethical questions. Organ donation must be voluntary and out of complete free will! Anything short of that, I will always say no to t!
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
29 Jul 07
Of course there would have to be controls in place to ensure the system wasn't abused and if someone didn't want to be a donor they could register their wishes (and carry a card or whatever as well I assume) to opt-out of having their organs used.
@lisado (1230)
• United States
18 Jul 07
My husband and I are both donors. I don't mind the "assumed consent" since I had always meant to register and kept forgetting. If something would have happened to me before I got around to it, my organs could have saved several people. I think a lot of people are the same way. It's something they just don't think about. If it is a religious thing, they usually have something in their wallet or on their person saying they aren't donating or accepting organs due to religious beliefs. There are so many people out there that could use them, and since we don't need them once we die, I don't see why people wouldn't want to donate, except for religious reasons.
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
19 Jul 07
I think that's the same for lots of people lisado - they keep meaning to register but forget to do it and I think that's why "assumed consent" would make such a difference I think.
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
18 Jul 07
I agree with the proposal of assumed consent. If you want to opt out you can, but, if not, we'll take them, thank you very much.
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4584)
19 Jul 07
Yes I think it's a much more efficient way of doing things. Thanks for responding bonbon664
• Australia
18 Jul 07
I live in Australia and I am definitely an organ donor. Recently they made it so your organ donor status is no longer put on your drivers liscence but instead you get sent a card with a number on it that signifies that you are an organ donor which is a good idea. "Assumed consent" can be rather useful, and although I am an organ donor it makes me think about what if the patient is in a coma or something that has them incapacitated and their family doesn't know if they want to opt-out or not.
@Stiletto (4584)
18 Jul 07
Well I think that's often the problem - people haven't necessarily discussed the issue with their relatives so it puts the relatives in a very difficult position at a time when they will already probably be in a highly emotional state.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
18 Jul 07
I really want to donate my organs, wheelchairs, meds (if I can do that) to somebody else after I die. I'll have need for them in Heaven (the wheelchair maybe, but I'm sure Jesus can build me a better one), and let someone else benefit from them. I would like to see assumed consent in America, too, especially after watching Heartland (a new TV show about organ transplants that airs on TNT).
@Stiletto (4584)
18 Jul 07
That's the positive way to look at it - if you can leave something behind that will benefit others then why not. I wonder if you can donate meds - I know you can't in the UK but in countries without a national health service you would think that would be a useful thing to be able to do.
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
18 Jul 07
I agree with organ donation, I wish to donate but I think everyone should have to carry a card or be registered officially if they wish to do this, I don't think it should be up to your relatives, here in Australia I have heard of some people who have registered for organ donation just to have their wishes quashed by their relatives because they are in an emotional state and are against it, it should be up to the person concerned but unfortunately they are in no position at the time to say yes or no, so something has to be done to protect peoples wishes....
@Stiletto (4584)
18 Jul 07
Exactly - I think asking the relatives to make that decision when they are in an emotional state anyway puts them in a very difficult situation and I guess it must also be very difficult for doctors to deal with as well.