organ donation??

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  • #109521
    wannaBmdwannaBmd
    Participant

    Hi all! :wave:
    With everyone here being in the medical/premedical field I was wondering what your thoughts are on organ/tissue donation. How many of you are organ donors? and why or why not?

    I’ll start…

    First of all I think it is a wonderful way to contribute to society. If I can no longer use them, I hope someone else can use them to prolong or enhance life. However, it is a very personal gift.

    Second, is that my uncle was the recipient of a transplant.

    Anyhow that is my imput…what are your thoughts?

    #109523
    MTaylorMTaylor
    Participant

    Organ donation is a good thing. I think some people are sometimes reluctant to be a donor because they may think we (healthcare professionals) may let them die just so we’ll get their organs.

    (I’ve heard people say that)

    #109525
    wannaBmdwannaBmd
    Participant

    I have too!

    #109527
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    I think it is a great deed to do such a thing. I really do, but do to my religious beliefs, I am uncertain if I would be able to feel 100% okay with doing this. Therefore, I am not an organ donor but would not necessarily rule it out as possibly being one in the future.

    #109529
    bekagainbekagain
    Participant

    I am a registered organ donor. I donate blood and am a registered marrow donor, so I kind of feel this is an outgrowth of that – just a much more serious one. I have had experiences with death in my immediate family and know it is a hugely hard thing. I would want to help spare someone else’s family from that reality, if I were to die. I am having a hard time explaining this, but it is a big deal to me. I know it would be really hard for my family to do, but we have talked about it. I honestly hope it never comes to that, but at least something good could come out of it if it did.

    #109531
    Med4MomMed4Mom
    Participant

    My husband and I, and our three kids are all set up as organ donors. I can’t imagine losing one of my children, but I hope that if that ever happens, at least part of them will help someone else’s child to live. I believe very strongly in this issue. My husband’s brother is currently being evaluated to be put on the transplant list….. :guilty: and I am hopeful he will find a donor in time.

    As an aside, how do you guys feel about live liver donation?

    #109532
    MTaylorMTaylor
    Participant

    Mimicat, tell us more about live liver donation.

    And as another side question:

    Do you think that *everyone* is entitled to an organ transplant? What about a 75 y/o alcoholic with no intentions to quit. What about the twenty something y/o mother of 3 young children who was in an automobile accident…and severely lacerated her liver? What about Donald Trump vs. say….me? Who should decide who gets what (if anything at all)? How should we distribute these limited resources?

    #109535
    wannaBmdwannaBmd
    Participant

    Mya,
    Good question!

    Ok, I know this is going to sound callous, but my uncle that recieved a transplant, was severely obese, and had multiple other problems. He was in terrible health, due in part, to his own habits. I was rather surprised that he was able to have the transplant. As I understand it, after they are typed etc. they are given to whomever needs it the most, and is presumed to have a high probability of success. It is really sad because he only lived for six more months before something else went out, and he died. I’m glad my uncle was able to live for even a short while longer, but I wonder if his new liver would have really made a difference to someone else?

    Also, I worked for a short time in dialysis, and I remember some of the techs complaining that so-and-so is getting a new kidney, and all they can talk about is how they can’t wait to drink(alchol) again. I thought that was sad. I would hope that all transplant recipients would take better care of their bodies, so as not to find themselves in the same predicament.

    #109537
    bltblt
    Participant

    My senior year of college, the mom (an alcoholic) of one of my rommates got a liver. My roommate had considered not finishing up school that year and donating part of her liver to her mom. The out of the blue, she got a phone call saying that her mom was in surgery for a transplant. Unfortunately, her body rejected the organ and she passed away on New Year’s Eve.

    I don’t know if her mom intended to stop drinking once she had the transplant. I hope that she would stop drinking…

    I am also a registered organ donor and bone marrow donor. I know donating blood is also important, but I’m not sure I could stomach it!

    #109539
    Med4MomMed4Mom
    Participant

    I said “live liver donation”, but I meant “living liver donation”. It is when the whole right side or whole left side of a liver from a living donor is transplanted in a recipient. The liver is the only human organ (I believe) that has the ability to regenerate within a very short time, so both the donor and recipient will end up with pretty much whole livers if things go well. Problem is… the risk to the donor, who is usually a very healthy person to start with (so why put their health in danger?).

    I do believe there should be some restrictions on who receives donations. I think here in Canada anyway, the screening process includes measurement of lifestyle factors and other health issues, with many many things contributing to possible disqualification. I am sure it is pretty much the same in the US. It sounds callous maybe, but given that organs are scarce resources, this type of “best scenario” screening must take place.

    #109541
    maggie52maggie52
    Participant

    My Mom has already signed herself up and done the paperowrk to donate her BODY TO MY MEDICAL SCHOOL! HOw cool is that??? :yes:

    #109543
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    Just a side note on this issue:

    It doesnt matter if you are a registered organ donor, if your family resents it!

    #109545
    MTaylorMTaylor
    Participant

    It gets tricky…and I think the most people would tend to go with the family’s wishes because those are the people they’ll have to “deal” with if they don’t. No one want to go to court…even to defend themselves, if at all possible. It’s so much easier to simply with the flow, and do as the family wants. Legally, I think you may be able to follow the wishes of the deceased…but *practically*…who wants the headache?

    May sound harsh…and insensitive…but I think it’s true.

    #109547
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    100% for organ donation, if I can’t use em, sure do hope someone else can. Most importantly, I have discussed this topic with anyone who will listen, and my husband and parents understand my wishes fully (and I urge all of you willing to donate to not only put in it writing but discuss it with all of your family members so that they know your wishes). My great aunt is still doing great after a heart transplant 17 years ago! She has seen three kids get married, 6 new grandkids, 3 new great-grandkids and had a ton of experiences that she never would have if not for the transplant. Her original illness was viral myocardiopathy, so obviously no fault of her own, and she has been very devoted to taking good care of herself and her health. She even met the family of the man whose heart she received (a 40 year old man in a car accident) and keeps in touch. That family has described it as “healing”, as though a part of him can live on.

    I know while doing transplant during residency, the liver receipients had to prove that they had abstained from alcohol for at least one year before being put on the transplant list. They also had to document AA meetings. Seemed like a good idea to me! As far as living donor livers, there was a moratorium on them for a short time after several donors died (although I think this has been lifted) and we don’t do them at my institution at this time, but due to the severe shortage of organs, I can’t say that we’ll never do them. It is one of the only operations that has a possibilty of 200% mortality though, which is pretty scary!

    #109549
    Med4MomMed4Mom
    Participant

    Yes the risk of the live liver donations scares me a bit, but it is something my husband may consider for his brother if he gets critcal. BTW his brother has developed Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (degenerative liver disease, probably in response to his Crohns disease. He is otherwise healthy, non-drinker, non-smoker, married with 1 year old child. We hope he finds a donor 🙁 .

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