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Are any of you consciously unwilling to be an organ donor - medical issues aside?(108 Posts)
I read a thread today, not on MN, where someone basically said that their organs are their own and therefore will live and die with them notwithstanding the need for more organ donors.
I'm personally not aware if I've registered as many years ago at Uni an organisation came around to sign us up but I'm not sure of the legitimacy of that. That said, I'm still on the fence wrt an opt-out approach rather than an opt-in approach (that I believe we currently have in the UK). I know many people just can't be bothered with the admin of it so just don't bother even though they'd be happy upon their death bed to have their organs harvested.
But I'd be interested in knowing if you really just don't want to be a donor do you have any reason other than a medical issue? I take the view that when my time comes they can have whatever is viable.
Wales has introduced a "soft opt out" system now:
I remember my Dad saying years ago he wouldn't because he was concerned they'd balance saving his life with "harvesting" him to save 5 people. I wonder how prevalent that concern is and why words like "harvesting" rather than "retrieving" are quite emotive.
Me. (picks up hard hat and prepares to be flamed). I gave almost 50 pints of blood before I became physically unable to; I'm generally a helpful, obliging, charitable person.
But I believe your body is part of who you are, not that the soul is something separate, and I can't bear the idea of part of me having to work on in a stranger after I'm dead.
I like to think I wouldn't agree to be a recipient either.
I'm in Wales. I opted out only yesterday- not because I wouldn't want my organs to be used (I would and have communicated this in writing to my family), but because my body doesn't belong to the state; I would be concerned they wouldn't try hard enough to save my life; I wouldn't want my family's wishes over-ridden.
I would hope that anyone who wouldn't donate an organ if they could would also refuse to accept an organ if they needed it.
I am happy for any organ that is viable to be taken from me. I won't need it anymore and it would mean someone else could continue living.
I find the idea that you wouldn't donate quite difficult to understand but then I am an atheist, I don't believe in any after life's. I don't believe in the "soul".
My friend died when we were 15 and his organs went to 5 people. This provided so much comfort to his family and us as his friends. It meant his short life was not wasted.
I donated my son's organs. They can have mine when I go if they are viable. I strongly disagree with an opt out system and I would opt out if that were the case (although my children know my feelings and would allow my organs to be used anyway). The state doesn't own my body.
When I donated my son's organs it was my choice, on my terms, they were thoughtful and understanding and made the whole thing as easy as they could for me.
I worry that there will be less sympathy and understanding if the state automatically owns your body after death.
I think saying you are not sure whether medical staff would try hard enough to save your life if you were an organ donor is a huge insult. Reading the article written by a nurse of Ian Brady about how regardless of who he was they had a duty of care brought home to me the lengths medical staff go to to save/help lives irrespective of other facts.
I personally am all for an opt out system, I also think if you do opt out you should not be allowed to receive an organ if you need one. Why is saving your life so much more important than saving someone else’s?
Also as far as the state owning your body after death, there are lots of rules about what can and can’t happen to someone after death. The state already have a lot of control over your dead body.
There was on item about this on BBC Breakfast the other day. About 500 people a year die having joined the register but their families refuse to donate the organs. Whatever way you decide, make it very clear to your nearest and dearest whilst you are alive!
Personally, I really struggle to understand why anyone wouldn’t, but I respect their right to refuse and I presume they would refuse to accept an organ, making the queue shorter for those (like me) who would.
I have a donor card as does my husband
I have encouraged my children to do the same
I just have a slight issue with their eyes so if asked by a doctor i think i would struggle to say yes to that one...but that's my own stupid bias
@TitusPullo I think saying you are not sure whether medical staff would try hard enough to save your life if you were an organ donor is a huge insult.
This. It's also an odd thing to think that medical staff have the luxury of time to stop and weigh up whether you there on that hospital bed is more "worthy" of living than someone else who might need a lung or a heart or whatever. Why would anyone think that doctors and nurses and surgeons go round ranking patients like a Buzzfeed listicle of hot or not in order to either kill or cure them?
There's a difference in agreeing to donate your organs (which I would) and the presumption being made that organs can automatically be collected from everyone unless they take steps to prevent that presumption. I want my family to be asked and have told them my view would be 'yes'.
I can almost understand the worry some have that as an organ donor, they'd be seen as 'fit to harvest' rather than a patient in their own right. I don't get 'my body, I want it whole after I die'. Why? When we die, all we become is rotting flesh, there's nothing that will reverse the process once you are buried (certainly cremated). I can't help but think it's one of the most selfish things a person can (not) do, and I'm certain that most people would be quite happy to receive an organ if dying, or certainly on behalf of a dying relative.
Organ donation only becomes an option if someone is considered “brain stem” dead. The patient is still ventilated so will still have a heart beat and will still be seen as breathing. You cannot recover from this, and for brain stem death to be diagnosed there are certain tests that need to be performed by two separate consultants a certain length of time apart. There is no issue about working harder to save your life or not. You are either brain stem dead or you aren’t. So this isn’t a valid reason not to be an organ doner.
With regards to being unsure as to if you are on the register or not, the best option is to discuss your wishes with your next of kin. I k ow here in Ireland, carrying a doner card only draws attention to your wishes, but the doctors / intensive care staff will only retrieve the organs following discussions with your next of kin.
I'm so lucky to have received my 'precious gift', without it I would be dead now & my children no Mummy. My diagnosis came out of the blue & I was given less than a year to live.
Opt out is a personal choice however,
If you are not willing to donate then you should never accept an organ.
My driving licence is now 20 years old and back then you ticked a box on the form to say yes or no to being an organ donor.
Not sure if they still do that.
I will be cremated anyway so seems a shame to waste the bits that would still be useful!
I would happily let them have my organs... but I really don’t think I could agree to donate a loved one’s, because of how it has to be done.
If you think that makes me a bad person 🤷🏼♀️
I am not eligible to donate anyway, but even if I was, I wouldn't. I have received horrendous care in NHS hospitals and I am frankly terrified of the idea that someone would decide my life had less value than the 5 or so others who might benefit from my organs.
I probably wouldn't accept (or be eligible for) an organ either.
I think its completly insulting and very ignorant to say you think doctors and nurses would not work hard enough to save you. The people looking after you and working to save you will have absolutely no knowledge of what patients need organs. Its not like they are eying up your liver for the man in bed 2! A patient that dies in say London could have their organs donated to somone in Newcastle. And doctors and nurses do have codes of conduct that we abide by. Please dont insinuate we are all out on some sort of organ hunt.
Whambars I'm very sorry to hear about your son.
I often think of DH's donor's family and how kind they were to think of others at the worst time in their life, it's humbling.
I would never consider opting out (obviously) and whilst I wouldn't judge others who may have some sort of conscientious objection, I would if they were willing to be a recipient.
I opted in a while back, though i guess that's kind of irrelevant now being in wales. I don't like the idea of opt out.
I do think, to follow on from Iwould's explanation, that people should be better educated as to how organ donation actually works.
Surely doctors wouldn't even know if you were an organ donor or not before you're actually dead? What a strange objection, I've never come across this before.
The reality is most people will be too old to be organ donors when they die. So if I'm unlucky enough to die young then really they can have them.
I should definitely mention this to DH and my mum though. I think I mentioned it to my mum before but I was only about 16 then. They used to ask when you signed up for a Boots card!
Well MrsGosling they are not "supposed" to fabricate notes, lie, accuse patients of stealing notes, screw up diagnoses, delay and prevaricate for months, then fail to apologise for the severe physical consequences of their negligence, but all of that happened to me, so I am not feeling particularly reassured that medical staff would not also view me as a plate of walking organs if they knew I was a donor.
Like I said, I am not eligible anyway (because I have had cancer) so no harm done. I think it's naïve to assume that a code of conduct means that all HCP are saintly or to berate people who might express concern over how being a donor might influence their - often already quite poor - hospital treatment in the UK.
I'm very happy to donate as many bits as are suitable, no hesitation in that and my family are all aware and of the same mind. I'd be a living donor too if that was an option.
As for the comments about doctors and nurse, that's beyond bloody ridiculous and an absolute insult to their professionalism.
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