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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?

samandi Tue 09-Oct-12 14:44:12

I don't want to donate organs, and that's not for other people to be able to understand or not. I don't have to justify it and I don't give a shit whether others understand or not, my body, my choice.

Of course it is for people other people to understand or not. The issue affects people's lives. Closing down debate saying "I don't have to justify it" makes others think you haven't thought it through or don't have a sensible reason.

StuntNun Tue 09-Oct-12 14:57:36

OP YAB a bit U. This is peoples' health and lives we're talking about. I'm sure a lot of people don't think about organ donation (or don't want to think about it) until it comes to crunch time and they need a transplant. Also people can have unreasoned fears such as your mothers idea that she might feel pain after death. You can explain to her that there are no nerve impulses in the body after death so she coudn't possible feel pain but it wouldn't convince her. As an organ donor I don't make any demands for my organs. Would I say they couldn't be given to a smoker, or a convict, or a Tory MP? I believe organ donation is a selfless act and shouldn't be subject to conditions.

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 14:57:58

How about moving to an opt-out system, and people who have actively opted out of giving (i.e. are saying "even if my organs/skin/eyes etc are suitable I won't donate them) go to the bottom of the list for receiving. So anyone who feels strongly that the organ-donation idea is wrong can opt out of both giving and receiving.

I agree it is hypocritical to accept if you aren't willing to give.

I'm in Ireland - no register, but we all carry cards.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 09-Oct-12 15:04:44

Opt out system is the best idea in my opinion, as it would make people think about the issue (and thus giving them choice still) while enabling a huge amount of resource to the needy. I think a lot of people currently prefer burying their head in the sand than think about their own death.

I think the OP is a little misguided in how to go about getting more people to register, which is a noble idea, obviously. The idea is about creating more organs not penalising those who are ill and in need.

Should we make our children carry donor cards, who legally wouldn't be classed as able to make an informed decision? No baby can have an adult's heart... Personally I think the family unit should decide in this case.

OneMoreChap Tue 09-Oct-12 15:11:08


YANB at all U

If someone doesn't want to donate their organs/tissue, I'm absolutely fine with it. However, them accepting organs would be rank hypocrisy.

I think we should have an opt out system, and unless your wishes are previously registered, we harvest on death, none of this crap that relatives override your wishes.

That would hugely - despite what other posters have said - increase the organ pool.

If you do opt out, you're opting out of organ donation in all respects, which is all fine and moral. I'd also say you have to opt back in for 12 months before you get an organ.

Honsandrevels Tue 09-Oct-12 15:24:11

Statistically you are more likely to need an organ than be in a position to donate.

There is a lot of misinformation about organ donation. Programmes like Holby City portray a sick person needing an organ in the next bed to someone dying and somehow able to donate with the same team of consultants attending them both. Unrealistic and damaging.

I have had a transplant and am always grateful that when faced with the imminent death of their loved one, a family gave me and several other people a second chance.

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 15:28:53

And if it was an opt-out system, then obviously children and those who are ill or who can't donate wouldn't be denied organs, because they wouldn't have opted out confused.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 09-Oct-12 15:42:17

Hons everyone is in the position to donate, at least once in their er, lives (?) wink I routinely post the donor card link to my FB as a friend also had a transplant and would definitely not be here if it were not available. People just need reminding every now and then I think.

I don't agree that if you opt out you are automatically not allowed a transplant. Perhaps they could pay a token fee into NHS or have to agree to opt in after the op until their own death?

mrsrosieb Tue 09-Oct-12 15:42:29

So you would let a child die because the parents had not filled a form out? That is sick.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 09-Oct-12 15:46:08

Not sure who is talking to who atm...
My point, in case it is me, is that everyone should be IN with the option of opting out. Religious reasons or whatever may make a family decide their child should not have a transplant or donate. Other than those who opt out, every child would be IN and therefore able to transplant and also donate on death.

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 16:07:40

mrsrosie, have you read the thread?

Have you seen anyone saying that?

Lueji Tue 09-Oct-12 16:13:08

What you, OP, propose is ultimately not feasible and would raise lots of issues.

Even your mother could change her mind about willingness to donate.

It's a bit like here blood donors having free hospital access. I am prevented from donating blood because I don't weigh enough. Why do I have to pay (it's not a lot anyway, but still), if I would like to donate blood but can't???

The thing is that we should always be generous.
I'd be happy for a selfish/inconsiderate person who is unwilling to donate organs to receive mine after I died.
Organ/tissue recipients are considered on a need and match basis, not how good they are.

At some point we would be discriminating based on contribution to society, crimes committed, etc.
It's just madness.

PS - there's no way we can feel pain after death. Pain is felt by the brain and the brain dies when we do. Is your mother a vegetarian?

AMumInScotland Tue 09-Oct-12 16:18:55

I do think relatives still need to be able to override the person's wishes, even with an opt-out system - if someone's next-of-kin would be very upset and traumatised by the deceased's organs being used, then I can't imagine most HCPs being comfortable with using them as a donor, and I think there'd be an outcry and lots of tabloid headlines about how insensitively they had been treated, which would give the whole thing a bad name and be ultimately negative to participation levels.

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Tue 09-Oct-12 16:20:52

YANBU sort of

These people have double standards- they think that they will suffer by donating organs yet they are happy for other people to suffer to provide organs for their life.

But there is no way they could moderate a system that prevents them from getting organs and it would raise so many moral questions

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Tue 09-Oct-12 16:26:17

I understand what everyone is saying, yes it would be complex but not unworkable. George best got a liver transplant then went on to abuse that gift and damaged the one that someone had to lose a family member to give.

That sickens me.

I regularly donate blood unless pg or BFing, i'm on the bone marrow register, i am on the organ donor register. I would LIKE a rule doesn't mean that i won't give because i worry someone may get it then abuse it.

I don't give a crap, once i'm dead i'm dead.
DP had a bit of a titty la la about it saying that they have to 'keep you alive' to harvest them, and that they would know you were on the register and this would mean they'd allow you to die so they could harvest organs. Oh and apart from that tosh, he also said he wouldn't want me, or DS body 'butchered' .. well i replied fuck me mate i'd be dead as a dodo as long as someone else got to live i wouldn't give a shit if i was hung on a meat hook and allowed to mature for a few days!

I would prefer to set conditions such as no pissheads allowed to get my liver and kidneys. I've spent my life pretty much caring about my internal organs, i smoke though sad moderately, i drink very occasionally and only socially, and have a pretty good diet, why would i want that to go to someone best suited to a jeremy kyle show to explain why they abused their kids while they were pissed and shooting crap into their veins?
No thank you very much, i'd rather it all went to sensible people who needed it to live the rest of their life with their family or whatever, and not be on dialysis or drugs to keep their body going.

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Tue 09-Oct-12 16:37:07

Where would you draw the line though... there isn't exactly a 'scumbag' questionnaire that would filter out the people that you disapprove of. That alcoholic that needs a liver may have had an unenviable life that pushed them into drink and that smoker that needs a lung transplant could have been trying to quit for years but struggled cos they got no support.

You are privileged enough to have been brought up well and will probably not have many horrible health problems as a result, but not everyone is that lucky.

Lueji Tue 09-Oct-12 16:37:20

I wonder about "traumatised" relatives.

I can understand for children, as they have no will, really.

But if an adult has decided what to do with their own body, then it's not up to the relatives to override it.
What if anyone got upset with a will, or with cremation? It's their problem.
They are obviously upset with the death anyway and they will live.

NovackNGood Tue 09-Oct-12 16:39:22

It should be opt in only or you should be allowed to sell them in your will with your estate benefitting from your parts being sold off.

misdee Tue 09-Oct-12 16:39:47

^^thats my husband. organ donation doesn't just save lives. it changes them. dh is back at work. we have another 3 children. my older ones still talk about daddys time in hospital, about the artifical heart. dd1 is very aware of how close we were to losing him.

Lueji Tue 09-Oct-12 16:47:44

Also, to the title of the thread:
To suggest people shouldn't be allowed donor organs unless they're registered organ donors themselves?

Many organ recipients are probably not allowed to even register as organ donors, at least not any time prior to receiving an organ.

I'm thinking of my friend with diabetes, for example, or people with heart problems, or with infections, or who have used drugs.

PedanticPanda Tue 09-Oct-12 16:48:30

"She thinks that it might be possible to feel pain after death."

So she's against her organs being taken from her once she dies incase it hurts but is fine with being set on fire?

MrsDeVere Tue 09-Oct-12 16:50:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsrosieb Tue 09-Oct-12 16:54:59


That is exactly what the OP is saying. Think you need to read the most important post of the entire thread!

misdee Tue 09-Oct-12 16:55:11

it is important.

and hurts when people dont listen. or just feel a bit icky about it'

noddyholder Tue 09-Oct-12 16:59:47

This is definitely something families need to discuss.When you are well you can have all sorts of views and moral outrage etc because you can.But I have had 2 transplants and I can say honestly that when you are in the last days and really need an organ you would literally do anything and you are so delirious with ill health you would take it from anyone above anyone etc your desire to live is so strong. I don't think many people would say no tbh. You literally wake up in a new body! I would have been dead at 19 without and I have had a great life. Watching people on the list is heartbreaking sad

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