• In December of 2006 as I was sitting in the living room with my parents, only a little over a week before Christmas, the phone call came that changed my dad’s life forever. The next evening, my dad was having the kidney transplant that we had all been waiting on for months. Since an organ donation has touched my life so personally, I chose to do my inquiry project on this topic.
• What is organ donation?
• Who can be an organ donor?
• Does being an organ donor affect your treatment at the hospital?
• Is it harder for families when a loved one is an organ donor?
• How many people need organ donations?
What does it mean?
When someone agrees to be an organ donor, he or she agrees to donate their organs, eyes, and tissues after his or her life has ceased. Specific examples include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidney, eyes/corneas, skin, bone, heart valves, tendons, and veins.
Nearly everyone is able to become an organ donor barring any medical restrictions that a doctor would identify. Minors must have consent from a guardian, and everyone else must indicate their wishes at the license branch in order to receive the heart on their driver’s license.
Three types of donors:
• Deceased as a result of brain death donors
• Deceased as a result of cardiac death donors
• Living donors
Deceased as a result of brain death
• Largest number of non-living donors
• The patient has been declared brain dead
• At this point, if donation is planned to occur, the patient’s doctors will temporarily sustain the body in order to protect the organs that are to be transplanted
Deceased as a result of cardiac death
• Potential organ donors in this type of donation are in vegetation and are receiving external life support.
• They are not brain dead, but their hearts are not beating.
• In both of these cases the family members must still approve of the transplant.
• Approximately 35 percent of people who indicate on their driver’s license their desire to become an organ donor do not get a chance to carry out the donation because of family members’ refusal.
• This type of donor chooses to give part of an organ or one organ that they have two of.
• They can donate to help a specific person or simply anyone who needs it.
History• As a clinical treatment, organ transplants have only
been around since the later half of the 1900’s. In 1954, a healthy twin brother gave a kidney to his sick brother who was in the later stages of kidney disease. This transplant marked the first kidney transplant that ended in success. The recipient of the kidney survived for eight years after the surgery, and the donor is living today. Even though this was one of the earliest transplants as a clinical treatment, the idea has been around for much longer. In the current Czech Republic in 1905 a cornea transplant was successfully completed.
1st common misconception
Myth: You will not get the best medical treatment if you choose to be an organ donor.
According the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization website, “There are strict legal guidelines that must be carefully followed before brain death can be declared and organs removed. The doctors who treat a patient at the time of death are in no way involved with those responsible for organ removal. Organ donation is considered only after every effort has been made to save the patient's life.”
Myth: Being an organ donor will put even more burden on my family.
• There is no charge to the donor family. All hospital costs related to the organ recovery are paid for by the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). Also, family members can know that your organ donation saved others’ lives.
How many people need an organ donation?
• The national transplant waiting list gains a new person every twelve minutes.
• About 17 people die daily because they did not receive a transplant.
• Roughly five percent of the people on the liver transplant list are not even 18 years old.
• One organ/tissue donor can save up to fifty lives • Unfortunately, of the 12,000 people who can be
organ donors that pass away each year, less than half of those people give the gift of life
To Remember Me “At a certain moment a doctor will determine that
my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Call it my bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to a man who has never seen a
sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who has been pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and my prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever”
Links to Indicators
• 6.4.12 Explain that human beings have many similarities and differences and that the similarities make it possible for human beings to reproduce and to donate blood and organs to one another.