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The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If you are an organ donor, do ER doctors not try as hard to save you?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14551 points ) September 12th, 2009

Is this an urban myth, or something far more sinister?

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17 Answers

sandystrachan's avatar

Don’t they work on a bonus scheme , the more parts they harvest the bigger the pay ?

Zen's avatar

I LOLed at this one.

Darwin's avatar

Urban myth. They don’t look at your driver’s license or your donor card until it gets to the point of no return. And even then, your next of kin has to agree (remember to be nice to your family members).

jrpowell's avatar

Shilolo (A real doctor) drops the knowledge here.

markyy's avatar

Guys do we have any kidneys left? Looks like we have to let mr. Jones go… Dibs on the kidneys!
What good could possibly come from such a myth? There is always a need for more organ donors and spreading stupid rumors like this is hurtful to society and benefits no one.

Besides who is going to spring for the bill if you die? Wouldn’t they be better off saving your ass and keeping the people (those who needed your kidneys) in the hospital for dialysis, ka-ching double the amount of money!

AstroChuck's avatar

It’s not as if ER docs work on commission. They have some crazy Hippocratic Oath to live up to.

markyy's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Thank god it was inspired by comedy and not actually a topic of debate (your question completely fits in with today’s American health care debate reasoning).

Looks like Andy Richter was actually pretty funny before he became a full time living statue on Conan’s new show ;) Let’s just say I did not stop watching at 0:35.

summerlover's avatar

you have more to worry about that hospitals will do far too much to keep you going rather than allow you to die….even to take your organs

casheroo's avatar

I always wondered why there was such a market for organs, since so many people die each day…is it because elderly cannot donate organs? I’d love to know which disqualifies you immediately (like, sepsis or certain infections would, right? and I’m not referring to HIV or Hep C)

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@markyy Still funny on Conan’s show. I’m glad he’s back
Though the part where he thought the sandwich guy was Hitler kills me

markyy's avatar

@casheroo There are too many factors to list here, but I think the biggest is that there is a very very small window of time to act in.

I don’t have the numbers by hand, but I seem to recall that even in a small country like Holland we would not have enough donors if everyone became a donor by default (topic of discussion for the past few years over here).

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Yes he is, I didn’t mean to put him down. It’s just that the new format doesn’t allow for as much interaction between Conan, Andy and the band as in the old show (I miss that).

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I wouldn’t think so (hope not). From what little I’ve seen of real hospitals and real hospital workers, their adrenaline is pretty high to succeed and save as often as possible. From what I hear, it’s similar to law enforcement officers who hope to never fire their weapons on a person.

ShanEnri's avatar

Who knows? The question would be if they don’t who’s to call them out on it?

Janka's avatar

Think about it: what good would it be to the doctor to lose your life to save someone else’s? You are both patients, he wants to save you both, so exchanging one for the other does not make sense. (No, he does not get paid for your organs, obviously.)

Nitpick: Hippocratic Oath is not in general use anymore, though similar, more modern codes of ethics are. (Hippocrates had in his stuff like not doing surgery or abortions, not to mention a heavy implication of only teaching the art to males.)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

If I were going to die without a transplant, I’d take an HIV positive organ any day of the week.

Dr_C's avatar

In my experience working in the ER i never looked through a patient’s wallet. I tried my very best with every single patient. We try to save every life that comes through our doors. We don’t always succeed. When the “point of no return” has been reached and thepatient cannot be saved then the family is asked wether or not the patient is a donor and if they agree to organ harvesting. It may not seem like it but losing a patient is a heart-breaking experience and not something we take lightly.

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