**Organ Donation** - page 3

Just wondering if many are registered anywhere? Also, what do you think about this?... Read More

  1. by   nursemelani
    Yes. Speak with your spouse or parent, so that they know of your wishes. Even if your license says that you wish to donate, they still need your families consent.
    Remember, you can't take it with you!!
  2. by   Kris10lp
    I am an organ donor. I believe very strongly in it. We have had my father for 10 extra years this year because he received a heart transplant. It is on my drivers license and I am registered through CORE.

    They talk about some of those misconceptions at the website.

    http://www.core.org/04donmis.html
  3. by   Altra
    Quote from fergus51
    Amen to that. From what I've heard, the subject of organ donation often isn't even broached until the patient is determined to be brain dead. I don't know how much more aggressively they could treat someone at that point.
    It's a little different where I am. Being a level I trauma center, we have a very close working relationship w/our organ procurement agency. We nurses are encouraged to make the call to that agency when a patient reaches the point of "imminent death" or "grim prognosis" -- and those definitions can be pretty liberally interpreted.

    However, I do not believe I have seen or even heard of any instance where last ditch efforts were withheld or modified, just to maintain the option of harvesting organs.

    In my state, if you have indicated your organ donor status on your driver's license, that decision cannot be overridden by family.
  4. by   Town & Country
    You can decline to be an organ donor because you or yours don't make money off of it, but that doesn't make it a good reason to let others die.

    I didn't say that I wanted to make money off organ donation - I said that the money aspect of organ donation is one thing that bothers me about it.

    People donate organs so others can live; yet the recipients have to come up with $$$$ to even be considered for surgery.....doesn't seem fair to me....just my opinion. This is a poll, after all.
  5. by   Aneroo
    Quote from SunStreak
    Who is making the big bucks?
    I think the rich one would be the person whose life is saved. I'm sorry you've had such bad experiences with the organ donation process.

    I have made sure my family knows my wishes (no extreme measures to keep me alive, and to donate my organs). The little heart on my drivers license means nothing unless my family knows and is willing to respect that. Thankfully, my husband is aware and would respect my wishes. Although my mother knows my wishes, I don't think she would be able to let go.
  6. by   flashpoint
    My sister died a few weeks ago and her tissues were donated for transplant...organs were donated for research - because of a long down time after cardiac arrest, they weren't suitable for transplant. While we are just devastated by her death, we are also comforted by the fact that she gave an amazing Christmas gift to someone.

    I do agree that "someone" is making big bucks off organ donation, but "someone" is also making big bucks off hip replacements, pneumonia, heart caths, etc...unfortunately, health care is expensive...what are you going to do?

    We have a little girl in town that needed a liver transplant. Her sister was a perfect match for her and since you can function quite nicely with only part of a liver, she was a very willing donor. But, Medicaid will not pay for a living donor, so this poor little girl's condition deteriorated while her family had to wait for another child to die...what a horrible thought! She is a few months post transplant now and her family gives thanks every day that someone else was able to give such a gift while they suffered through a tragedy.

    I can't imagine seeing someone I love die when donated organs could have saved their life...what a tragedy for everyone.
    Last edit by flashpoint on Dec 21, '05
  7. by   Bipley
    Quote from SunStreak
    I didn't say that I wanted to make money off organ donation - I said that the money aspect of organ donation is one thing that bothers me about it.

    People donate organs so others can live; yet the recipients have to come up with $$$$ to even be considered for surgery.....doesn't seem fair to me....just my opinion. This is a poll, after all.
    Okay, so you would let someone else die so that a doctor couldn't make money off the procedure?

    You didn't answer my question. Was the organ donor that received bad care your patient or is this 2nd hand info?
  8. by   flashpoint
    Quote from Bipley
    Okay, so you would let someone else die so that a doctor couldn't make money off the procedure?

    You didn't answer my question. Was the organ donor that received bad care your patient or is this 2nd hand info?

    It sucks, but no one gets health care for free...I hate the fact that a price is placed on someone's life, but again...what are you supposed to do?

    I have never seen anyone get poor care or less care because they are a potential organ donor...that would be a huge violation of ethics and the trust placed in us as healthcare providers.
  9. by   Bipley
    Quote from cotjockey
    It sucks, but no one gets health care for free...I hate the fact that a price is placed on someone's life, but again...what are you supposed to do?

    I have never seen anyone get poor care or less care because they are a potential organ donor...that would be a huge violation of ethics and the trust placed in us as healthcare providers.
    I agree. They have safeguards put into place for a reason. Are they foolproof? No, but to make it sound like it is common place for WE medical professionals to essentially "off" someone because another wants their organs is a huge mega slam against us all.

    The cold hard reality is that medical care is not a right in the US. I'm not making claims one way or another if it should be a right but the bottom line is that it is not a right.

    BTW... Let us not forget one thing here. On the topic of health care dollars, in the SW US there are more illegal aliens on welfare now than there are US citizens on welfare. So there is a reason our health care dollars are soooo expensive and it isn't because ANYONE is making too much money. Arizona and Texas are currently in a state of emergency now due to illegals and social services such as jails, education system, medical care, police services, court systems, etc.,. Nevada and California are running a close 2nd.

    So let's put the blame for health care costs where it belongs and it isn't organ transplants.
  10. by   zambezi
    I too am an organ donor...registered through the state. I think that it is crazy that family can override that decision, when it is obviously my decision to register and have it placed on my license...I have seen the patients decision overridden a few times and it always makes me kind of sad...

    We have "qualified" people that speak with the families duirng this time (I am not one of them...). They have to go through a training course. We usually talk with the families when death is becoming iminent and we make sure that we are on the phone with the donor line (even if we talk with the donor line the family can obviously still refuse...but there is no point in talking about it with the family if the patient can't be a donor, so we try to get it out of the way first). Many people just seem to be able to donate their corneas in my unit. I usually don't see any change in care or the aggressiveness in treatment of this patient- other than if the patient has to be "alive"...then we may keep the vent on vs. turning it off or keep the heart pumping (however, since I work in a cardiac unit, most deaths are cardiac deaths and not brain deaths so we don't have many "live" donations). I can only think of one or two patients that arrested at home and had no brain function but their heart continued to function and these people were considered for the full organ donation...

    A few years back we had a younger boy (mabye 18 or so)- an athlete- that was in a very tragic car accident...it wasn't at my hospital, but his family did end up donating almost all of his organs to others...the organ donation people sent the family a thank you letter and told them that about 10 or more peoples lives were saved due to their selfless donation...we had copies of the letter at our hospital and it was so nicely written...I can't even imagine having made that choice but to know that so many others were saved would have made me feel good had it been my child...

    I do think that in some places the process could be better...and that there needs to be more public knowledge about what goes on so people can make an informed decision before they get to the point of their loved one being in the hospital...
  11. by   sddlnscp
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    And my living will is very specific, my family is not to override my wishes.
    Do you or does anybody know of a good website to find a good living will that is specific like that? I would like to write one up for myself and my hubby, but don't quite know where to start. You can PM me if you don't feel comfortable sharing the information, but I sure would appreciate it! Anything you have written yourself would be great as well - thanks!!!

    I am a huge advocate for organ donation, have been all my life. I am registered and it is specified on my driver's license. I also just sent a letter to the editor to our local newspaper advocating organ donation - including a beautiful poem that I found on the website Siri mentioned earlier. I want them to use every last ounce of me they possible can once I am done with them - organs, tissues, blood, whatever. As soon as Colorado has the kids' area of the registry set up, I will register my children as well. My hubby is also an organ donor and I believe my parents are as well.
  12. by   TechieNurse
    i think as nurses, we are, in general optimists and tend to view issues like this as black or white, not realizing - or wanting to acknowledge - all the shades of gray and the 'dark side' of this issue...

    while directed donation (among family/friends) seems to be ok, general organ donation to an organ bank has it's issues. any process with human involvement is subject to human error.
    what comes to mind is:
    > donations made with incompatible tissue types, complicating the already compromised patient and perhaps hastening their demise.
    > in my area, we had donations made from a patient who died of an glioblastoma, with most of the recipients now diagnosed with the same type of cancer, some have already died from it.
    ***(when i posted previously, i had links to these stories, but now they're old and gone, sorry) the hospital knew about the donor, but did not inform the recipients or families. a quote from the doctors mentioned in the article (speaking to one of the recipients): "'the donor we got your organ from -- he was dying of brain cancer. so, we are 90 percent positive that your liver has cancer, too,'" and (from one of the recipients families) "i kept on questioning the doctors why weren't we told and one of the comments was 'livers don't come on silver platters' and 'there are a lot of people waiting for livers,'"

    there is a mistrust of doctors and hospitals. i recently read a news article that cited a study in the feb. 2002 journal medical care that echoes that...
    this may be a contributing factor as to why organ donation is not more popular in the u.s.

    > the family of a teenaged boy in a golf cart crash, donated his organs, however, none of the organs were used. his body was used for practice of harvesting different tissues (eyes, bones etc.). the family was not told that his organs were not usable, although the organ bank knew it before they asked the family due to the medications given to him in the er, and once they agreed to donate his organs, they had no way to stop the dissection. the family is suing because:
    a) the organ bank misrepresented what happened, saying his corneas were tranplanted when they were not
    b) all of his organs and tissues were harvested, even though the organ bank knew that they couldn't use any of them , then destroyed them without the family's knowlege


    in my career, i worked closely with a nurse who was responsible for organ procurement. she told me that i was naive to think that the most worthy (i.e. sickest) patients always got available organs first. she said sometimes, they like to 'bump' high profile cases as a way to bring positive publicity to the cause. with the feeling that they are hurting few (those with a higher priority) but helping many (other people who would die without increased awareness and donation).
    i'm not in favor of bending the rules to further the cause. if the cause were just and un-impeachable, it wouldn't need good publicity...

    lastly, there is the bureacracy:
    there are differences in waiting times on the unos list in various geographic locations;
    there is a lack of transparency in the system;
    if you have the money you can register in several different regions (thus potentially decreasing your wait time);
    the fees charged by unos, even to be registered on the waiting list are outrageous. now they are charging new fees to find living donors,
    unos/opo protocals don't provide fully informed consent to the families of prospective cadaveric donor families;
    unos and the opo don't inform the public the organs are not donated but sold by unos.

    in summary, the concept of organ donation seems altruistic, but in practice, like everything else humans do, it's not that simple, easy or fair....
  13. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I decided not to wait until I was dead, although I am and have been since it was an option, an organ donor.

    I donate tissue--platelets now, whole blood when I started a little over 20 years ago, and I am on the bone marrow donor registry.

    My family all know my wishes....

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