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To suggest people shouldn't be allowed donor organs unless they're registered organ donors themselves?

(233 Posts)
TM08 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:50:30

I had a conversation with my mum the other night, which has led on to me posting this thread.

She thinks that it might be possible to feel pain after death. She doesn't know what happens to our bodies, but she doesn't believe it's the end of us. For this reason, she wants cremated instead of buried, as she wouldn't want to be slowly eaten by worms for years after dying. Lovely.

Because of the pain after death thing, she doesn't want to be an organ donor. I asked "would you be happy to accept an organ if you needed one tomorrow?" and she said yes.

It just got me thinking how unfair this system is. People like my mum can get organs, but aren't willing to donate their own.

AIBU to think that if you are willing to accept an organ, you should be a registered organ donor yourself?

clucky80 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:46:40

Jeee your post made me emotional, your sister sounds like she was an amazing person. I had a double transplant 5 years ago without which I would be surprised if I was still here today (or would certainly be blind, on dialysis, an amputee). To tell you the truth, the subject of organ donation had never really entered my head at the time when I was told that I needed a transplant when I was in my mid 20's. I think it is something that people put to the back of their heads and don't like to think about. Like someone said earlier though, statistically you are much more likely to need to receive an organ than ever donate one. I also think that there needs to be a lot more education around the subject of donation so that people are able to make an informed decision either on their own behalf or that of a loved one who may have never expressed their wishes. My donor was an amazing 19 year old boy who suffered a head injury, his mum chose to donate his organs on his behalf. I wrote to his mum 6 months after my transplant to try and express my gratitude for making such a difficult decision that ultimately saved my life. She wrote back and told me that after receiving my letter she knows that she made the right decision and that it comforted her so much to know that she was able to let my mum see me grow into adulthood. I had a 'miracle' baby 2 years ago, my DS is one of fairly few babies in the world born to someone after my kind of transplant. My Ds's middle name is in memory of my donor. When inwrote to my donor's mum to tell her about the birth of my Ds she told me that when she made her decision she had never thought that it may even enable the creation of new life. Not one day goes by when I don't think about my donor and his family, sometimes I worry so much that my DS will be taken away from me when he is young too as I've already had too much luck in my life by being given the gift of health from my donor. I push these thoughts out of my head though and I try to live every day to the max and I am seriously grateful for everything in life. I don't look too far into the future and I take and enjoy every day as it comes. Sorry I have gone on, I just want to give another point of view of a recipient - that organ donation can go on to having positive effects on so many people's lives.
All of my family are now organ donors and bone marrow donors. I have told my family that if any part of me can be used after my death (even if for medical science to help other people in the future) then please use it.

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 10-Oct-12 14:08:38

What I meant by my statement about agreeing with organ donation or not is that you either agree to both donate and receive or do neither. There si no room for a grey area in that in my eyes.

There is of course room for debate regarding whether or not you agree with organ donation as a whole but I don't think it's a conditional thing. In my opinion you can't agree with receiving but not agree with donating.

As many people have said all the way through the thread this has nothing to do with those who can't donate, just those that won't. (Not sure how many times that needs to be said)

I can completely understand that it can be a difficult decision, it's a horrible thought and of course it's understandable to be upset at the idea but for me logic always prevails.

But that is exactly why I believe in presumed consent and that an adult's wishes should be respected on death not that of their next of kin. The death of a loved one is imo not the right time to expect people to have to make this decision. It should be done while alive and of sound mind in the same way as you make a will.

As for my opinions on life after death and souls and such like, I honestly don't know. I find it very hard to believe in an after-life but I find it equally hard to believe that this is all there is.

What I do firmly believe however is that the body is merely a vessle, that you soul/essesnce/yourself is a completely separate thing.

My grandfather had a devastating stroke, as serious as you can survive. When I arrived at the A&E department I took one look at him and knew. He wasn't there any more, it was the eeriest thing I've ever experienced. He looked like my Grandad, but whatever it was that made him him had gone. And it wasn't because he couldn't speak or because he had no idea who we all were, it was much more basic than that. His body was very much alive, as healthy as it had been half an hour before, but it was like a light-switch had been flicked. His body lived for another 7 years but my grandad died the second that stroke hit.

It's impossible to describe and impossible to understand unless you've experienced it but it's just how it was.

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 10-Oct-12 14:18:13

Wow, truly humbling stories thanks

I also wanted to add that if you do believe in a God, a one true entity who created all things, then surely He made this possible.

noddyholder Wed 10-Oct-12 14:38:08

The problem when it comes down to it is unless you have been so ill that you need an organ you can never really know what you would do. When you are well and healthy you can take whatever stance you like and be quite anti organ donation but your feelings may change should you need one. You are not rational at that stage so even though you may have spent years informing your close family that you don't believe in it etc you may not be able to uphold that stance once ill. This is why I think opt out would be a good system as just by a law of averages more people would an to live than die if they had the choice. If you would rather die than receive an organ because you don't believe in it then you can opt out. Morals and ethics really do go out the window though when you face death sad this is something you may find hard to believe if you have never been desperate

MrsBethel Wed 10-Oct-12 14:39:34

Just read this comment. Jesus, how fucking childish.
Petty bullshit > Someone else's life or death?

An opt out, presumed consent, priority system would put paid to such nonsense. Some people are happy to put bullshit above the ilfe of another, but probably not their own life, I reckon.

Woozley Mon 08-Oct-12 22:56:20
I am on the donor register. But if the system changed to "opt out" rather than "opt in" I would opt out on principle, as it should be a "donation", not an obligation.

samandi Wed 10-Oct-12 14:53:44

MrsBethel - yes, that's rather silly.

EugenesAxe Wed 10-Oct-12 15:00:14

MrsBethel - good idea that one. Prevents waste and rewards those who give and take.

If it weren't for the fact that it is tantamount to emotional blackmail, I'd like to place at higher priority children that had been registered since birth (or within, say, one year of the announcement of a priority system), than children whose parents had opted them out...

To everyone who thinks/knows they have organs that would be rejected on medical grounds - you could still opt in. The powers that be would do their homework and just blacklist you, effectively, if it was necessary.

MrsBethel Wed 10-Oct-12 15:03:55

They've got a priority system in Israel, apparently.

Medical need is the first consideration, then after that it's whether or not you have been opted in for a certain period.

Seems fair enough to me.

Funily enough, they issued a fuck of a lot of new donor cards when they brought the system in, and transplant stats are up massively since.

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