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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?

SneakyNuts Mon 08-Oct-12 22:53:10

I suppose YANBU.

But only if the system changed to 'opt out' as opposed to 'opt in'.

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 08-Oct-12 22:53:34

Erm...people who usually need a donor organ are usually on a concoction of medication, before and after the transplant, so their organs won't be in a great state anyway. This makes no sense at all, sorry.

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 22:54:52

I agree to a certain extent.....

but some people on donor waiting lists will not be able to donate some/all organs due to the nature of the condition that has put them on the waiting list to start with iyswim?

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 08-Oct-12 22:55:20

How would it work though?

I find out I need a heart transplant so I sign up as an organ doner and then I'm eligible to receive? Or do I have to have been signed up for 1/2/5/10 years previous?

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 22:55:48

[blush ] x-post with LadySybilde

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.

AgentZigzag Mon 08-Oct-12 22:56:33

I would feel very uncomfortable with a policy which dictated people should give up parts of their bodies if they didn't want to.

It would also involve not helping someone who was in dire need of medical treatment, how would that play out? Getting doctors to say 'you can only have a new heart if you're prepared to give us the pick of what's left of you when you die'?

Not everyone wants to donate, and just because you don't understand their reasoning doesn't mean they're not valid fears/concerns.

AbbyRue Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:23

Basically this would mean that everyone would have to become an organ donor since we can never know if we will need someone's organ in the future? That takes away the freedom of choice doesn't it?

I'm a registered organ donor but I wouldn't force anyone to be one.

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:34

I think we should all be opt out rather than in fwiw.

If your organs turn out to be no good, the medical staff will decide, but everyone should really be registered to donate in the event of a sudden death imo.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:40

and you'd turn down an organ for you/your child as well Woozley?

SundaeGirl Mon 08-Oct-12 22:57:47

YABU. Anyone can donate and accept organs as they wish.

TM08 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:58:30

Hmmm... i suppose i've not really thought this through properly.

I was just really annoyed by her attitude. I think it's completely unfair. She's willing to take but not give. She could potentially be given a new heart over someone who has been on the donor register since birth. It's not fair at all.

Ps - i love my mum to bits of course. But was stunned to hear this from her the other night.

Woozley Mon 08-Oct-12 22:58:41

Depends on the circumstances and who it was taken from.

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 23:00:04

Woozly - you are registered to donate, but would change your mind and actually de-register if it became compulsory? confused

wannabedomesticgoddess Mon 08-Oct-12 23:00:28


People who donate their organs dont (afaik) impose conditions. They do it for selfless reasons.

If this becomes a "rule" where does it stop? Do the families of donors get to decide who is worthy? What would it be based on? Race, religion, wealth, background, criminal convictions?

If you choose to be a donor you do so with no conditions attached.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 08-Oct-12 23:01:02

Woozley It was taken from someone on the register. They were put on it automatically and never opted out, you wouldn't know if that was because they wanted to donate or they forgot to opt out.

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 23:02:36

OP - I agree with you re your mums attitude. I find it utterly bizarre that anyone would have no moral objection to taking a donated organ for themselves/loved ones, but who object to donating themselves.

CoolaSchmoola Mon 08-Oct-12 23:03:21

What about the (signicant number of) people who need organs, and because of the reason they need them aren't allowed to be donors?

What about people who have worked in certain areas and aren't allowed to be donors?

What about people on medication, or people who are excluded because they have a condition that means they cannot donate?

How about certain members of the Forces who have been exposed to some compounds/elements/diseases/vaccines and are not allowed to donate? Would you not let them have an organ either - despite them being excluded from donating due to service to their country?

People choose to be donors - I'm registered, because I would want to help someone if I could - regardless of whether they would/could donate. That wouldn't bother me. I'd be upset if the person was a dv perpetrator, or a paedophile, or a homophobe or any other of a myriad of things that are abhorrent to me - but the chances are slim and not worth refusing to be a donor for.

Plus even if the person who got the organ wasn't a donor - it's pretty likely that a proportion of their friends and relatives would register as a result of the organ recipient being saved. So the number of registered donors would increase anyway.


AgentZigzag Mon 08-Oct-12 23:04:21

I can't say I'd go as far as Woozly and de-register from the donor list if I'd already made the choice to be on it, but I can understand the principle.

I own my body, it's not up for the state to snatch if I pop my clogs.

Somebody with no family around to say otherwise when they die, shouldn't be presumed to be the property of the hospital they end up in to do with what they want.

blueemerald Mon 08-Oct-12 23:05:17

I think the Israeli Organ Donation Laws are a good compromise. If two people are equally matched for an available organ then if one is signed up as an organ donor or a family member has donated they get priority. Organ donation rates are very low in Israel though.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Mon 08-Oct-12 23:07:00

If people dont want to donate their organs, fine. If that person would accept an organ then they are a hypocrite.

mil wont donate an organ as, in her words, "it'll end up going to a foreigner or on the black market" hmm

Im going to ask whether she would accept a donor organ next time I see her.

CoolaSchmoola Mon 08-Oct-12 23:07:49

X post with lots of people lol!

Another thought....

Even if you opt in - once you are brain dead it's your NOK who have the final say. They can still say no regardless of your wishes. Likewise if you aren't on the register they can say yes.

So it's not the potential donors choice at all really!

MeFour Mon 08-Oct-12 23:07:51

I can understand your frustration op even if the logic doesn't follow through

My dh refuses to give blood. Apparently he's scared of needles but manages the jabs to go abroad. Our dd had a vital transfusion. How can he feel its ok to accept that but not do his bit

Woozley Mon 08-Oct-12 23:08:11

The thing is, in order to give most organs you have to be dead, and have died in a certain specific way in order for your organs to be useable.

But the way some people talk about an opt out system is almost like they forget this, and talk of it in the same way as giving blood, and there are millions of organs floating around going unused or something. But the fact is, while opt-out systems increase the number of people consenting to donate, they don't actually increase the number of organs available.

Plus the fact we tend to be working on things like road safety and the prevention of other accidents to stop healthy young people from dying suddenly, which also reduces the number of potential organs donors.

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