Misunderstandings About Organ Donation

• Myth:

There are certain things that can keep me from being an organ donor such as age, illness or physical defects.

• Fact:

Each person’s medical condition is evaluated at the time of their death to determine what organs and tissues are viable for donation. People living with chronic diseases or those who have a history of cancer or other serious diseases are still encouraged to join the donor registry.

• Myth:

If doctors know that I am registered to be an organ or tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save my life.

• Fact:

The first priority of a medical professional is to save lives when sick or injured people come to the hospital. Organ and tissue donation isn’t even considered or discussed until after death is declared.

Typically, doctors and nurses involved in a person’s care before death are not involved in the recovery or transplantation of donated corneas, organs or tissues.

• Myth:

If you are rich or a celebrity, you can move up the waiting list more quickly.

• Fact:

The severity of illness, time spent waiting; blood type and match potential are the factors that determine your place on the waiting list. A patient’s income, race or social statuses are never taken into account in the allocation process.

• Myth:

My religion doesn’t support organ and tissue donation.

• Fact:

Most major religions support organ ‎and tissue donation. Typically, religions view organ and tissue donation as acts of charity and goodwill. Donor Alliance urges you ‎to discuss organ and tissue donation with your spiritual advisor if you have concerns on this issue.

• Myth:

My family will be charged for donating my organs.

• Fact:

Costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant are never passed on to the donor family. The family may be expected to pay for medical expenses incurred before death is declared .

• Myth:

Maybe I won’t really be dead when they sign my death certificate

• Fact:

Although it’s a popular topic in the tabloids, in reality, people don’t start to wiggle their toes after they’re declared dead. In fact, people who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests (at no charge to their families) to determine that they’re truly dead than are those who haven’t agreed to organ donation.

• Myth:

I’m under age 18. I’m too young to make this decision.

• Fact:

That’s true, in a legal sense. But your parents can authorize this decision. You can express to your parents your wish to donate, and your parents can give their consent knowing that it’s what you wanted. Children, too, are in need of organ transplants, and they usually need organs smaller than those an adult can provide.

• Myth:

I’m too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.

• Fact:

There’s no defined cutoff age for donating organs. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Don’t disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.

• Myth:

I’m not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues.

• Fact:

Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don’t disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.

Information was taken from The Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation
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