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Is this wrong? Regarding putting ds on the organ donor list.

(100 Posts)
TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 09:31:20

I've been on the list for a while but I recently signed ds up for it. I wasn't sure if I could do this at first but I looked into it and it was fine. When I said to ds dad he said it was wrong as ds had no choice in it. He was pretty annoyed. Ds is 2.5. I'm also sure my mum put me on the list when I was little, I vaguely remember having a card.

Obviously ds didn't make this choice but if, god forbid, anything was to happen to my ds I would rather another child could benefit and hopefully get out of the horrendous situation they are facing.

I know this is a bit morbid but I'm a student nurse so it's something that I've had to think about iykwim.

TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 10:11:15

It's not something I've thought about a lot either. It's just because of my course. I'm training to be an adult nurse so have seen adults waiting for much needed transplants but child issues have been mentioned in lectures and it got me thinking about what I would do.

MikeLitoris Sun 12-Jan-14 10:12:42

In Wales it will soon be that you need to opt out rather than opt in.

I have myself and my dc on the register and my older two are happy to be on there. I will have the same conversation with my youngest when the time comes and will respect her decision.

Both the older two want to give blood and be on the bone marrow register as soon as they are old enough too.

I think its a shame that more people dont have these discussions with their children. I never knew much about any of this stuff until I was well into my twenties.

SilverApples Sun 12-Jan-14 10:17:06

Both my children were on the organ donor list from being very small, but OH agreed. I've seen so much good done for children who've received a transplant, and the pain of waiting for one that never turns up.
They both remade that decision when they were old enough to choose, and both are still on the list.
What a brave decision to make OP, when the idea of losing him for any reason is almost unthinkable.

Starballbunny Sun 12-Jan-14 10:17:23

This came up in casual conversation the other day and DD2(12) looked at me when I said her and DD1's names have always been scribbled on my donor card too.

I guess at 12&15 it's time it was their choice.

Always been a total no brainer to me that our bodies may as well be useful after death. Also I have a DF who teeters on the edge of the corneal transplant list depending on how her congenital eye condition is behaving this week.

Monetbyhimself Sun 12-Jan-14 10:17:36

Your son wouldn't be able to consent to receiving an organ either. So ask your Ex if he would refuse to consent to life saving surgery on your sons behalf.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 12-Jan-14 10:35:25

If your DS wasn't on the list and the unthinkable happened and it was a question you were both asked by a medical team - would your exp refuse on the basis that your ds couldn't consent?

Fact is, the situation where this needs answers is not going to be one that allows for consent from the donor. The call is going to be yours while you are next of kin. As your ds gets older he may express a desire to have no part of it at all, and that should be respected, but at his age you make that decision for him.

Does your ex accept that at the moment explaining donation to a 2.5yr old in order to gain consent is either impossible or potentially upsetting?

If you are both in favour of donation then I don't see the problem in making that choice on behalf of your children until their old enough to express their own views like you do with all their medical care.

Your ds didn't get a choice in what vaccines he had, or when he gets given Calpol, or when he needs to brush his teeth. You do that because he's too young to comprehend the risks and issues and you make the decisions you feel are in his best interests, and particularly with vaccines, wider society.

Getting worked up about consent from a 2.5 yr old about issues beyond their comprehension is silly. I suspect it's a deeper knee jerk reaction to the thought that what the circumstances would have to be for it to be relevant and what would happen.

The rather flimsy 'consent' issue is a way of trying to verbalise it when he doesn't know how imho.

WooWooOwl Sun 12-Jan-14 10:35:35

I can see where your ex is coming from, and I don't think this is a decision with a right or wrong answer, it's one of those personal things where all opinions are valid.

If your ex is a supportive and involved father, I think you were wrong to put your child's name on the register without his consent. His say is as important as yours as long as the child is still too young to make an informed decision himself.

It's good that you are going to discuss it with him again, but if he can't be persuaded easily, then you have to respect his choice.

TeacupDrama Sun 12-Jan-14 10:36:07

in the case of living saving surgery they will go ahead, like a major RTA they will start treating unconscious patient without waiting for any relative next of kin etc, however if non living treatening immediately if parents disapgree it will go to court like the wee boy Neon with cancer when his mum did not want treatment to go ahead

if DS father has parental responsibility he can veto organ donation, if he feels that you should wait until DS is old enough to consent then that is what will happen

PS the age of consent for medical treatment is generally 16 not 18

TeacupDrama Sun 12-Jan-14 10:38:22

I think some people would see this more in the same light as not circumcising/ christening a baby but waiting until old enough todecide for themselves, other believe deciding to christen child etc is perfectly valid so both points of view are valid points of view

bedhaven Sun 12-Jan-14 10:42:23

I think it's really sensible to think and talk about your wishes now rather than at a very emotional time. You've just prompted me to talk to my DH about my wish for every scrap of me to be given to help others. Of course I hope that all my family die of old age but if that isn't the case I would also want something good to come of it.

lljkk Sun 12-Jan-14 10:49:31

In practice, Heaven forbid your son should die, but before his organs were donated the authorities would consult all relatives and simply would not act against their wishes. So boy's father has nothing to worry about.

Good idea, am too organised to do this for DC but would if it were easy.

TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 10:57:07

If, god forbid, anything did happen and I gave my consent and exDp did not would they go with exDp? ExDp is involved with ds but Ds is with me most of the time. It really is just the consent thing, I don't think there's any deeper meaning in what exDp says other than to just disagree with me.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 12-Jan-14 10:58:36

Just to clarify, when I was talking about being next of kin, I was referring to both you and your ex.

In the theoretical circumstance it may be a choice he has to make (along with you) with no idea what his son would opt to do.

lljkk Sun 12-Jan-14 11:00:16

From everything I've ever been told about the organ donation process:
They would go with your ex-DP if he objected; in practice they simply won't allow donation if any of the close relatives object. They reckon those people are grieving and they won't do anything to add to the grief.*

Am happy to be corrected, but not many experts out there to comment, I imagine.

*you could argue that it might mitigate your grief to allow donation, but they will weigh it up as likely to impact the objector more.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 12-Jan-14 11:00:36

Does he have any problem with any of the other million-and-one decisions we make for our DCs that they are too young to consent to, or is it just this one?

In which case, it isn't consent that's the issue, is it?

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 12-Jan-14 11:01:13

Not in anyway qualified to answer, but I think in they would need a yes from both parents to proceed with a donation, so one parent refusing would probably mean it wouldn't go ahead.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 12-Jan-14 11:02:13

Sorry, X posted with sparkly

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 12-Jan-14 11:02:17

My motto on organ donation if you are happy to have one you should be happy to give one.

If my child was in need of a new heart I would 100% want it to save his/her life.

Pooka Sun 12-Jan-14 11:03:03

My dcs are all on the register. I know, god forbid, that dh would agree with me. We've discussed it. It's a no brainer for us (understand that it's our perspective and that doesn't suggest that I think others are wrong for not making the same decision).

WishUponAStar88 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:10:47

I work with critically ill children who at times go on to donate organs. If god forbid you lost your little one OP the card would, in reality, have little bearing on the outcome to donate or not. What would count would be the feelings of yourself and the child's father at that time. If you are both named on the birth certificate you both have equal consent, therefore your decision does not automatically supercede his and vice versa (unless you have been to court to rule otherwise). You would need to agree should the time come before a decision is made and time is given for this where possible.
To add, many people change their mind about donating children's organs when the time come. Some that had never thought about it or never wanted to end up really wanting to donate. Others that very much wanted to donate change their minds when they think about their child having to go to surgery again and having a very limited (if amy) time to say goodbye after once life support is stopped.
Organ donation is truely amazing and it is very brave of you to be thinking about this fir your little one but I wouldn't worry about disagreement of opinion as many minds are changed when the worst happens.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 12-Jan-14 11:14:38

I have had experience of working with children needing transplants. In one case a baby needed a new liver but parents refused due to being Jehovas Witnesses. As a result the case was taken to Court and parental responsibility was removed with regards to this decision and the transplant went ahead. Doctors cannot just allow children to die because of their parents beliefs - if doctors genuinely believe the treatment can save the child's life then I imagine legal action can and will be taken.

The amount of children needing transplants is heartbreaking and unfortunately in most cases of young children their bodies cannot house adult organs so their lives can only be saved if an organ is donated from another child gas died - very sad sad

As has been said, if you'd be happy to accept an organ then you should be happy to donate.

TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 11:18:18

I don't ask him his opinion on the smaller decisions regarding ds. It's only bigger ones like which nursery etc. He does generally disregard my views as bullshit for the sake of it. He has admitted this in a rare moment of honesty after he had done 'some thinking about his behaviour'.

The conversation went like this

Me: I have signed ds up to the donation register
Him: well I don't think he should be
Me: would you not want someone else to benefit if anything bad were to happen?
Himgrinf course I would but ds didn't decide for himself so it's not fair.
Me: he's 2, he's not going to understand.

TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 11:18:45

I have no idea how that smiley face got in there.

TroLoLo Sun 12-Jan-14 11:21:38

I really don't mean to sound bitchy about exDp either.

lljkk Sun 12-Jan-14 11:25:12

Wow, I can't believe that case didn't get splashed all over the tabloids, Writer.

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