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Friday, February 8, 2008

Myths about Donation

One way to educate the public about organ donation is to debunk the prevailing myths. Following are a few of the most common donation myths along with the facts.
  • Myth: If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, the doctors will not try to save my life.
    Fact: Organ recovery takes place only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical team treating the patient is completely separate from the transplant team. The organ procurement organization is not notified until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined.

  • Myth: Donation will mutilate my body.
    Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation does not disfigure the body or change the way it looks in a casket.

  • Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.
    Fact: Donation costs nothing to the donor’s family or estate.

  • Myth: I’ve already signed my driver’s license, so I don’t need to do anything else to indicate my desire to donate.
    Fact: Even if you have a signed donor card, or any other document, you must inform your family of your wishes because they are the ones who will make the final decision. It is easier for them to make that decision if they know you wanted to be a donor.

  • Myth: I am too old (or too young) to donate.
    Fact: There are no age restrictions for becoming a donor. The organ bank will evaluate patients on an individual basis. At the time of death, medical professionals will determine if a person’s organs can be transplanted.

  • Myth: My religion does not support donation.
    Fact: All mainstream organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

  • Myth: Wealthy people and celebrities are moved to the top of the list faster than “regularâ€� people are.
    The organ allocation and distribution system is blind to wealth or social status. The length of time it takes to receive a transplant is governed by many factors, including blood type, severity of illness, length of time on the waiting list, and other medical criteria. Factors such as race, gender, age, income, or celebrity status are never considered when determining who receives an organ.

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