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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?

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 08-Oct-12 23:08:13

also ask her if she'd accept an organ from a foreigner.

Binkybix Mon 08-Oct-12 23:08:49

I absolutely agree with the principle that if you're willing to accept then you should be willing to give. However, the many impracticalities of this mean that I don't agree with this being enforced in practice.

Fishlaar Mon 08-Oct-12 23:12:12

Both my corneas are transplants. The last time I asked I'm a write off for donating both blood and organs. It was some time ago but I assume it's still the same.

My transplants were very hard for me emotionally. Knowing that the donors had chosen to be donors helped me a lot so I'm very much in favour of an opt in system. What I would like to see changed is a donor's wishes being unable to be overridden by their family.

missingmumxox Mon 08-Oct-12 23:13:50

I won't donate after death and I won't elaborate why, but I would accept, I would be a live donor if I could, even if it was someone I didn't know, I have my reasons and they are them and that is the end of it, DH was told me he wants to donate if he can, I don't want to, but I will respect his wishes if he has a death that makes him eligible, I pray it is never necessary.

AgentZigzag Mon 08-Oct-12 23:18:02

What you've said also doesn't take into consideration the feelings of the person receiving the organ.

Not everyone would happily take an organ knowing it may not have been given voluntarily, unless you're saying being extremely ill makes it easier to overcome ethical problems?

It might be the case, but assuming that would put the receivers in a very difficult position.

JustSpiro Tue 09-Oct-12 00:08:50

Would you extend that to blood and bone marrow donation?

I'd happily donate either substance but can't for medical reasons, so I guess in your world I'd be screwed if I was diagnosed with cancer or in a serious road accident hmm?

scarletforya Tue 09-Oct-12 00:26:10

She thinks it might be possible to feel pain after death!? That's bizarre!

antsypants Tue 09-Oct-12 00:42:00

YABU organ donation is not a currency, and as PP's have said, many people who need this will not be able to donate organs anyway due to the many health problems they will have had and may have in the future.

Absolutely agree with MrsKeithLemon and think that there should be a default of donation unless you opt out.

AdoraBell Tue 09-Oct-12 02:46:13

I thought you had to an adult to decide to donate, rather than family agreeing after your death. So, what happens if a child needs an organ? They wouldn't have registered their intent to donate their own organs, would they? I might be wrong, in which case I'm happy to be corrected.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Tue 09-Oct-12 03:38:08

I would only like one rule if i were to have one before agreeing to donate any organs. That it went to a worthy recipient, a child, or someone similar, and not someone who has abused their body with drink and drugs.

Not because i think they're less worthy of life, i just think they had a choice, they had healthy organs of their own and abused them.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 06:36:23

'i just think they had a choice, they had healthy organs of their own and abused them.'

How would you decide, though?

Obviously a child can't have all the adult-size organs (some can be transplanted).

So would you require a full life history, just to be sure that whoever it was definitely, definitely got this disease entirely as a result of bad luck?

That feels a bit dodgy to me. And saying you don't think other people are 'less worthy of life' ... it doesn't change the fact you think they 'had a choice', which I think is bollocks for some of those people.

I'm on the donor register, but I wonder if DH is, as I know he wants to be buried not cremated. Cheerful thought. But good to be reminded by this thread, I must ask him.

wonkylegs Tue 09-Oct-12 06:53:25

I'm on the donor list but thanks to a shitty long term medical condition and a cocktail of toxic meds nowadays there is nothing they will accept from mesad
Personally I feel that the donor system is an altruistic one and forcing people to participate would be unfair, however would support an opt out system rather than opt in system as I feel a lot of people simply don't get round to it rather than strongly opposing it.

Millais Tue 09-Oct-12 06:56:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Tue 09-Oct-12 07:01:36

On a theoretical point of principle it does seem wrong for a person to accept a donated organ when they would not (rather than could not) donate organs after their own death. On a practical and society level I think the only answer is to treat them with kindness and accept that we are all hypocrites in one way or another.

Stem cell treatments are making big leaps in the field of replacement organs anyway so hopefully in a decade or two this will be a problem of the past.

procrastinor Tue 09-Oct-12 07:02:57

things that is an incredibly dodgy path to go down. Because I can see how you think it would be simple but once you've started where do you stop? Firstly you have no idea why people get addicted to drink and drugs - I have met some very sad individuals who first started drinking aged eight to ten and were admitted to hospital aged 13 with liver problems. Now do they get a transplant? How about if they start using in response to some trauma? Is that ok?

Then you can move onto does smoking count? Then what you do for a living (surely someone whose working and contributing to society should get over someone who's jobless and homeless)? When you start making judgements it is a slippery slope and has no place in medicine.

misdee Tue 09-Oct-12 07:04:11

I don't like conditions bring set on organs.

My husband had a heart transplant in 2007. The emotions surrounding the transplants are very hard to deal with, and we are forever thankful for his donor and their family. To give something so great whilst grieving themselves must be so hard.

yousankmybattleship Tue 09-Oct-12 07:09:21

This is not workable. My brother died because he didn't get a transplant in time. He couldn't have been a donor because his health was so poor and he took so much medication.
It is a system that has to rely on the kindness of strangers and thank goodness there are people who simply want to do something good for others.

Dappylittlemomma Tue 09-Oct-12 07:16:10

Woozy- not sure how you've arrived at the conclusion that an opt-out system would not increase the number of organs available. Through my work I've come across the tragedy of brain death in otherwise healthy people. Their organs could save many lives but often the family say no because they don't know if that's what their loved one would have wanted. If their was an opt-out system and the loved one hadn't bothered to opt-out the family would know it wasn't something he/she felt strongly against.

forevergreek Tue 09-Oct-12 07:26:35

I think it's a good idea. So many good organs go unused ( car crash victims etc often have many perfectly usable organs)

I don't particular like the idea of my organs being used, but I'm a donor as I figure I really won't need them if dead, and would hate other life's to be lost that I could have potentially helped to save

MrsKeithRichards Tue 09-Oct-12 07:47:15

I don't think anyone should have to justify what decisions they've made regarding their own body.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Tue 09-Oct-12 07:51:34

I like your idea, OP.

It could easily be tied in with opt-out paperwork. Or, everyone at 16/18 has to complete a form that includes/excludes them from the donor scheme.

It may make people think about society a bit more.

Lueji Tue 09-Oct-12 07:56:30

Your mother is very odd.

She doesn't know what happens to our bodies after death?
And because of pain after death she'd rather be cremated?

Would she be an organ donor if she was given drugs for pain?

I agree with you that she is being a hypocrite.

I'm all for an opt out system, although your mother might still opt out.

And I think it's ridiculous to opt out because of a matter of principle against the government, and cause people who need the organs to miss on them. hmm
It doesn't matter what the law is. If you think it's a good idea to donate organs, either opt in or don't opt out.
The opt out rule is useful because lots of people don't bother register, even though they are happy to donate.
You still have freedom of choice.

MeFour Tue 09-Oct-12 07:56:53

Forever I feel the same way as you.

I think not my eyes. Then but I won't need them and if I can make someone see the English countryside wow

And not my heart, then I logical brains says you'soul' isn't really connected to one body part and It could save a child's
So I decided to donate

I'm not on the donor list. I heard horror stories of pressure being applied when I was younger (not true probably but hard to get out of my head) so my husband, parents and children know my wishes and I have them written down too.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 09-Oct-12 07:57:02

I think yabvu.

You can't tell people that are only eligible for healthcare based on what they are prepared to give. By that logic, we may as well cut anyone out of the NHS if they don't pay income tax. After all, if they aren't prepared to give, then they shouldn't be allowed to take.


fishybits Tue 09-Oct-12 07:58:13

DH and I would take an organ in the hope of extending my life if needed and would want the same for DD. Therefore DH, DD and I are organ donators should either of us end up in a situation where we were going to die regardless and our organs could help others.

DD can opt out if she wants to when she's old enough to understand.

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