To really not understand why people do not join the organ donation register?

(277 Posts)
3littlefrogs Thu 11-Apr-13 22:18:39

I have been registered since I passed my driving test nearly 40 years ago. If I am dead I won't need my organs. They could save someone else's child, wife, husband, sister, brother.

HollyBerryBush Thu 11-Apr-13 23:04:35

my posts are all C&P from

www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/questions/

None of it is my opinion.

I know my body is shot to pieces - more then welcome to my cadaver for medical research, but I doubt it would be of any use to anyone living.

Can you be on it if you have had a blood transfusion?

As I'm no longer allowed to donate blood or breastmilk I'm rapidly running out of things I can give.

If someone who really needs it gets one, that bumps the next person on the list.

So even if your liver goes to a (dying) alcoholic paedophile, that still gets everyone else on the list closer to their own lifesaving operation.

Now I don't care who gets what and how socially deserving they are: medical experts have said they need it, and it is a gift to everyone on the list, and all their families.

Further, as a smallish woman I am most likely to donate to a teenager. I can't think how a teenager waiting for a transplant could possibly be undeserving.

I read today that donations in the UK have risen by nearly 50% in the last five years (bbc). I think that's fabulous.

I don't believe any HCP would let someone die just to get organs - you save the person on the table in front of you if at all possible, full stop.

If they're asking DH, DM or DF about transplantation, I'm already dead and gone, but have the chance to give the best gift ever. They know not to hesitate. I come from a staunchly pro-donation family with the equivalent of bathtubs of blood freely given.

foryonisonly Thu 11-Apr-13 23:17:12

If I could pass one law, it would be that everyone's organs are used unless they have opted out. Takes all the emotion and desperation out of a terrible time for next of kin & ensures a better supply of organs. it would never have to talked about at the time. Simple, to me anyway.

TheProw Thu 11-Apr-13 23:19:39

I'm not sure that they do know you don't feel anything during the ops. You're brain 'dead', by some definition, but they don't know if you can feel pain. I read a Nature letter saying there needed to be more research in this area.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 11-Apr-13 23:26:26

Because they won't have me any more sad.

I take meds that would be incompatible with donation, apparently.

Andro Thu 11-Apr-13 23:33:56

I believe in organ donation, but I'm not on he register (NOK know my wishes), DH is the same. DS is very strongly against for reason I understand, even though I don't agree with them (and in a worst case scenario I would respect his views).

What do you think of people who would be happy to receive but not give an organ? Do you think it should be 'opt in/out' for both - ie you can't have one if you're not prepared to give one? Do you think a person's family should legally be allowed to veto a decision the deceased has previously made?

I'm on the register by the way & have been for most of my life.

Andro Thu 11-Apr-13 23:41:12

50shadesofbrown - was that at me or OP?

YoniWankEnobi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:44:05

I'm on the register (and donated bone marrow to a relative as well as regular blood donations) and as I see it, I will be willing to give this to people whoever, I don't expect anything back. I just want to give something to someone to help them and hopefully save them when I have no need for it, and therefore I don't care if the person I donate to doesnt want to donate their organs if they die.

blueemerald Thu 11-Apr-13 23:56:02

RevoltingPeasant I totally agree with you and would do the same in those circumstances.
I think her suspicion is that the £20,000 fee a surgeon can earn from a transplant for a private patient might sway some to make a different decision than they might do otherwise. All doctors are only human after all and some have proved to be corrupt before. My mother worries that people do/will/could die because private patients are wrongly prioritised.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:57:09

I'm on the donor register, but I know that if it came down to it my parents would refuse to donate my organs on religious grounds. I'd like a system in which my explicitly expressed wishes were respected, and the decision to donate was not one inflicted on relatives at a stressful time.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 11-Apr-13 23:58:30

How the harvesting happens depends on the organ, but I can give some general insight.

As explain above there are very stringent tests and the patient is clinically dead.

The patient goes into theatre ventilated ( a machine is keeping them breathing) and is monitored by an anaesthetist. Harvesting tends to happen at night. There will usually be the same team in theatre through and everyone is very aware of the gravity of the situation. There is a definite sombre atmosphere in theatres when harvesting is taking place.

There will be a point during the surgery where the organ is ready for removal and they need to begin cooling the organ. It is around this point that the surgeon will indicate to the anaesthetist to switch of the ventilator. This is done and the patient will stop breathing and their heart rate will stop.

The transplant nurse is usually around, they will have often brought clothes that the family would like the patient to wear afterwards and the patient will be dressed once the surgery is finished (where the patient returns to afterwards depends on the hospital).

About a month to six weeks later, the theatre team will receive a letter letting them know what happened to the organs. It is amazing how many people can be helped from one person.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 11-Apr-13 23:59:23

I feel funny about it. sad I don't know why. It's the thought of bits of me remaining after I'm gone.

Shite isn't it?

Baroozer Fri 12-Apr-13 00:35:09

All of my family are registered as organ donors. Most of them are doctors. The general consensus is that if you are not willing to donate, you shouldn't be allowed to receive.

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 12-Apr-13 00:49:58

I would fight against any law that comes in to say that organs will be harvested (GOD I HATE THAT EXPRESSION) as a matter of course and without patients or relatives consent.

For a few reasons organs should be a gift from one human to another not a commodity to be taken and used without compassion and the interests of the donor and family taken into account

People have talked on here about the stringent tests being carried out on the patients, but how stringent will those tests be if organs are just used as a matter of course, will there still be the same sombre atmosphere in the theatre when the procedure is the 20th one to be done that day.

The money aspect could kick in when its realised it will take x amount of cash to keep one patient alive and it will save x amount of cash to give three people the organs, when the Drs know that the organs will be taken and used as a routine procedure with no chance of permission being denied by grieving relatives will the Drs fight for that 1 patient given that type of choice.

Many people will disagree citing the hippocratic oath that Drs take, and that may be the case or it may be the case that any Dr who wants to work within the NHS will have to comply with any new rules governing transplants that are bound to 'kick' in if Organ 'Donation' becomes mandatory instead of voluntary.

i

seeker Fri 12-Apr-13 00:59:05

"StuntGirl - please come back and explain why all your medically qualified relatives have cautioned you against registering. I find that really worrying, as I am sure others will too."

She won't be back. She was mischief making.

bootsycollins Fri 12-Apr-13 01:17:56

I think I know what stuntgirl might be getting at, I'm presuming it's an urban myth but I haven't looked into it but basically the story goes like this

" I don't have a donor card because no surgeons in the NHS will donate organs because since your brain dead at the time of organ donation they don't waste money on anaesthesia they just operate but the pain still registers"

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 12-Apr-13 01:29:31

Here is a good article discussing the story mentioned above: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/03/09/can-donating-organs-be-painful-even-after-youve-flatlined/

I would say that just registering isn't enough. On Channel 4 news last night, I believe it said that there have been over 100 cases where the relatives of registered patients have refused permission for organs to be donated. So you really do need to let your family know your wishes.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 12-Apr-13 01:29:41
sashh Fri 12-Apr-13 03:43:42

I'm not sure that they do know you don't feel anything during the ops. You're brain 'dead', by some definition, but they don't know if you can feel pain.

No you are dead, dead not brain dead. You heart has stopped beating, your lungs have stopped breathing. You are dead.

You are not on life support, being ventilated etc etc.

The article about 'flatlining' - there is no such thing, the only time an ECG or EEG has a flat straight line is when it's not connected to anything.

You can get an EEG signal from a jelly.

Andro - it wasn't aimed at any one in particular, just want to know what other people think. Dh & I both on register. He says his body can go to medical science when he's done with it, he won't need it & it may help others (research). Makes me queasy thinking about it but a) I know that he's only being logical & b) it's his body his wishes so I would respect it.

Btw I wasn't saying you can only have organs if you will give them - obviously some people can't, eg I had transfusion after labour due to PPH. I assume that affects the issue for a while. But if there is no medical reason why someone can't donate organs after they die, how can they expect other people to do it?

People have talked on here about the stringent tests being carried out on the patients, but how stringent will those tests be if organs are just used as a matter of course, will there still be the same sombre atmosphere in the theatre when the procedure is the 20th one to be done that day

They can only use organs from people who've died in very specific ways - usually RTAs. The number of RTAs is decreasing all the time. I very much doubt one hospital would have anywhere near 20 a day to deal with.

I'm on the register so is DP.

WeAreSix Fri 12-Apr-13 08:12:06

I'm a nurse. I'm on the register. And I've been present at heartbeating donors having organs removed. I wasn't put off it at all. Yes anaesthesia is used in the same way as a 'normal' operation - there's no evidence to show that pain still registers (that's what the brain stem tests show) but somehow it seems respectful and kinder to provide anaesthesia and analgesia.

FWIW I've never heard any medical person advise against being registered as an organ donor.

I'm a little fearful of being buried / cremated without being dead. So, being on the donor register is a little selfish in a way - having my organs removed means I will definitely be dead and there's no chance of waking up in a coffin!!

Having been told where many bodies go "for research" I'm not totally sold on that for me. Part of it is not having the body available for cremation/burial for a year or more.

It's worth remembering though that the team saving you is completely separate from the organ transplant team. There is no possible conflict of interest.

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