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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.

livinginwonderland Fri 12-Apr-13 08:31:34

i joined at 16 as soon as i could. my parents are also organ donors and are well aware of what i want to do should i die.

OnTheNingNangNong Fri 12-Apr-13 08:34:35

DH and I are on the donor register. It's never crossed my mind to not be on it. Id rather possibly be some use to someone by giving them life.

Although thinking about organ donation for my DC is harder, but we probably would donate to help save someone elses child, the comfort knowing that someone could benefit from the life my child cannot have. Preventing someone needlessly going through what we have.

I'm on the register. I think everyone should be.

Meglet Fri 12-Apr-13 09:03:08

Yanbu. I'm on there. My close family are on it too.

When Dad died the first thing we did was let the hospice know he wanted to donate and asked them to put the wheels in motion. Sadly they couldn't take any of them (not even his corneas) as he had been on heavy duty steriods and painkillers for cancer in his last days. But we tried.

xigris Fri 12-Apr-13 09:08:09

MrsDavidCaruso you're absolutely right. 'Harvesting' is a terrible term. I may sound a little pedantic, but the process of removing donor organs is referred to a 'retrieval' precisely because of this reason. I've been involved with the care of many organ donors so hope some of this helps:

Anaesthesia and analgesia are used in the operation

Most solid (eg heart, lungs, kidneys etc) organ donors are brain stem dead. This is most often due to a sudden, catastrophic brain injury most often caused by a brain haemorrhage or trauma. Two senior doctors have to confirm brain stem death, neither of which is a member of a transplant team. These tests are very involved and are used nationally.

In the UK, a private patient cannot 'jump' the list: the organ will go to the person in most need who matches the organ

A person suffering liver failure as the result of alcoholism will not be considered for transplantation unless they have been abstinent from alcohol for 2 years or more.

Every effort is made to save the life of the patient: it is only when it becomes obvious that no more can be done, that certain patients will be considered as potential organ donors.

Organ donors are treated with the ultimate dignity and respect at all times. Following retrieval, family and friends are able to spend time with the person in order to say goodbye. It is impossible to tell that the person has been operated on as they will have been washed and dressed, either in a hospital gown or in their own clothes; whatever the family / next of kin wants.

At present, the 'opt out' system for organ donation is not being brought in to use in the UK. There is a relatively new system of Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation being based in hospitals throughout England in order to promote organ donation and improve strategies for increasing donation rates.

Organ donation is the gift of life. The most important thing you can do is to make your family aware of your wishes. A lot of families get a huge amount of comfort knowing that even though something so tragic has happened to them, another life / lives have been saved. A single multiple organ and tissue donor (heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, small bowel, corneas, bone, skin, trachea) has the ability to save and enhance many lives both directly and indirectly. The NHSBT website is excellent. Sorry! Hope this isn't too long and rambly! blush

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 09:08:28

The reasons include being scared that doctors may not try hard to save your life as they want your organs.

Also it's the same type of fear that stops people doing a will, they see it as macabre or bad luck.

That's what was said to me when I was a nurse anyway, also religious considerations and sheer squeamishness.

It's a shame as it often provides some comfort for grieving relatives as they go through the journey of grief.

I think we need a good television campaign to address these fears and promote donation.

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 12-Apr-13 09:09:50

Akiss - Organs maybe but if every part of a human body is deemed the hospitals property to be used how they think fit then it wont take long for the medical profession to see a dead person as just a storage unit for usable commodities - it would not just be major organs used and the new rules could encompass medical research as well

And if every person who dies in a large hospital is operated on as soon as they are dead and stripped of any useful organ then yes, it would become commonplace to the medical profession and I believe a lot of the respect for the dying/dead would go right out the window.

PseudoBadger Fri 12-Apr-13 09:10:50

I'm not, as they don't want you once you've had melanoma sad

Binkybix Fri 12-Apr-13 09:21:34

But most people are not suitable as a donor because of the way they died (I don't think), so it won't be every person who dies in a major hospital.

xigris Fri 12-Apr-13 09:26:49

Absolutely Binky. Most people who die in hospital are not suitable for organ donation. Also, the hospital team responsible for the care of a patient has no idea if that person is registered on the Organ Donor Register (only the specialist nurses have access to that database) plus all potential donors need involved virology screens etc which are not done routinely. So no, patients who might possibly fulfill the criteria for organ donation are most definitely not denied potentially life saving care or treatment! That is the stuff of horror movies!

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow Fri 12-Apr-13 09:28:46

I'm not- I don't really mind whether my organs are donated or not once I'm dead so my dh can decide if he ever needs to, since its my family left behind who'd be affected by any decision.

Fayrazzled Fri 12-Apr-13 09:42:45

I'm not on the register. When I was a law student I studied medical law and we had a lecture from a professor who was also a doctor and had been involved in heart transplants at Addenbrookes in the early days. He had very real concerns about the brain stem tests used and was concerned patients were not always technically dead when their organs were used for transplant. I can't remember the nuances of his argument now but it has stayed with me.

That said, if God forbid something happened toy husband or children I wouldn't be against their organs being used, but I would want to be involved at every step of the way. I know, in practice this happens, even if you are on the register, but there is a subtle difference for me. I don't want it just to be a blanket "yes" and I do think we have to be careful about a situation where there is a presumption organs are available for transplant and where we might end up in a situation where doctors aren't doing everything they can for a patient or where death is hastened t allow organs to be used. It might not be happening now, but it could happen if the presumption changes. I would not be in favour of an "opt out" scheme, I think it is right the organ register is an "opt in" scheme for this reason.

Have just registered, been meaning to do it for years, thanks OP

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 12-Apr-13 10:02:46

Bxigris and binky - most people who die may not be suitable to donate major organs but if the state has carte blanche to use everything thing from a body there will be bits they can use either for a living patient or medical research no matter how the person died.
With a system that allows all organs to be used of course the the team who cares for the patient will know that if/when that patient dies some or all of their organs will be used.

As Fay says we cant look at the criteria that is now in use for voluntary donations if/when the rules change to say the state has a right to everything when a someone dies, the rules will change to reflect any new practises.

And yes that is the stuff of Horror films

If we had the opt in system, which I agree with, then we would need every technicality to be thoroughly documented. I had friends caught up in the Alder Hey scandal and if it had been the case of all of the parts and tissues being used for much needed reasons then their subsequent distress would have been less, but some of what was taken was hanging around in jars, not needed or used and corrupted through incorrect storage. Every part/tissue taken for research must be stored in a respectful manner, which will keep it good enough to be used in the future, or destroyed. We need clarification on some of the evidence of harvesting eggs from women and the subsequent growing of embryos for research, especially in conditions where there is evidence that those embryos could feel pain. I think that we should ask non donors their fears and address those fears, across the media.

Thank you op and thank you to whoever posted the link. I'm now registered!!!

squoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 10:57:45

I agree with Baroozer, if you are ok with the idea of being an organ recipient should your health require it well then you should feel morally obliged to register as a donor.

xigris Fri 12-Apr-13 11:22:49

Mrsdavidcaruso I honestly can't see such a scenario happening in the UK. If, and again, as far as I know, there are no plans to introduce an 'opt out' system of organ/tissue donation, then people will be able to sign an 'anti donation' register stating their choice not to donate their organs or tissues either for transplantation or research.

xigris Fri 12-Apr-13 11:23:36

Again, most important thing anyone can do is to ensure their family / next of kin are aware of their wishes regarding organ donation

KarmaBitch Fri 12-Apr-13 11:28:18

I know a lot of people who don't want to go on it. My question is then - what if it was for one of your kids/family? They quickly tell me that 'that's different.' I don't see how.

My attitude is (as morbid as it may sound) - if I'm dead then they're of no use to me. If they could prolong someone else's life, why not? After all, I'm not going to need then again, am I?

Katiepoes Fri 12-Apr-13 11:36:52

My uncle is alive because he has someone else's kidney. I can see no reason for not donating any usable body parts. Of course it's a choice - but without that person's choice my three cousins would have been left without a Dad at a very young age. Sign up and sign up now - for you UK people:

http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/

specialsubject Fri 12-Apr-13 11:45:11

I think it should be a simple like for like - if you aren't registered (or medically unable to register as are some on here) you can't have organs. Everyone is opted in, those who want to opt out do some when they are 18 (So all kids are eligible to receive organs)

we're all going to die. Grow up and accept the fact. It's not morbid, it's real life.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 12-Apr-13 11:58:09

I haven't, I'm a smoker and have had liver problems so I doubt anybody would want me.
If my next of kin is asked (my sister or DS) I expect they'll say yes though.
Ds has registered, I've told him they can have all his organs, but not his eyes.

MsBella Fri 12-Apr-13 12:31:34

Because its their choice and a lot of people hate the idea of it, tampering with a dead person instead of leaving them to rest etc. I've had a fair few conversations with people who have their own beliefs about why they wouldn't want it for their family or themselves
I personally haven't registered and to be honest I probably never will unless something makes me change my mind.
When I was younger and first found out about it I told my mum I wanted to do that and she literally started crying saying please don't ever do that etc.

squoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 12:37:49

I'm willing to be that most people who hate the idea of their loved one's organs being 'tampered' with after death would have no problem with their loved one receiving an organ if they were in need. It's sheer hypocrisy.

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