As difficult as it is to think about what’s going to happen to your body after you die, agreeing to be an organ donor may be the finest gift you will leave behind. There are over 100,000 people in the USA who are waiting for an organ donation. Four thousand more are added to the list each day. Most of them will never receive the phone call telling them that they have been given a second chance at life via a donated organ. This means that more than 6,500 people a year (about 18 a day) will die before an organ ever becomes available.
Here we have listed some of the questions and concerns that come to mind when learning about organ donation.
What if I’m not really dead when they sign my death certificate?
People who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests to determine that they have truly passed on than those who haven’t agreed to organ donation.
What if organ donation is against my religion?
Organ donation is consistent with most of the major religions here in the USA. The list includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, Judaism and most branches of Protestantism.
If I am a senior citizen, aren’t I already too old to donate my organs?
There is no cutoff age for being an organ donor. The decision is based on medical criteria and not on age. At the time of your death, the doctors will decide whether your organs or tissues are suitable.
Do I need to be in perfect health to be an organ donor?
Never disqualify yourself prematurely. While some organs may not be able to be used due to your health conditions, other organs can be totally unaffected by your particular health situation. The number of medical conditions that would automatically disqualify a donor are rare and far between. Leave the decision to medical professionals at the time of your death.
How can I become an organ donor?
To become a donor after death, you need to register with Ohio’s donor registry (visit OrganDonor.gov) or just fill out a card when you renew your driver’s license.
To become a living donor you need to work directly with the family member, friend’s or relative’s transplant team.
Is it true that if you’ve signed a donor card you don’t receive the same quality of care at the hospital?
Absolutely untrue! In a life-threatening situation you are being treated by a medical team whose only goal it is to save your life. The transplant team is a completely separate unit that is not called in until the family has been notified if you have died.
Being an organ donor can make a huge difference to several people. By donating your organs after you die, you can save or improve the lives of as many as 50 people. It is important that your family knows of your wishes regarding being a donor and, that they have it in writing. Include your wishes in your living will. The families of the deceased donor have said that knowing their loved one helped save other lives have helped them in coping with their own loss.
For help in adding organ donation to your living will contact us at Kabb Law 216-991-KABB (5222).