Social Question

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Why don't more people sign their driver's licenses to become organ donors?

Asked by AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning (72 points ) October 27th, 2009

Many people like to say, “If I’m in an accident and in the ER, and they see that I’m an organ donor, the doctors won’t do everything they can to save me.” Sounds like a great excuse to use. It so much easier than stating the truth… People are scared to sign. Scared of the unknown. If you haven’t signed yours, why not?

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54 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I’d say it is because of the fear of a wrong death diagnosis, where they diagnose your death even though you are not really dead and then take out your organs and by that kill you.

pinkparaluies's avatar

I’ve heard people say that before, too. About how they’ll basically let you die for your organs on the ride to the Hospital. HOWEVER… I am an organ donor. Bring it on, crazy medics.

grumpyfish's avatar

There’s an unending rumor that being an organ donor means that the hospital won’t try as hard to save you (since your organs will hypothetically save X people).

However, it’s just not true. Really really really not true.

And, if you actually do a risk analysis—the odds of dying from just about anything else than your organs being harvested due to your not really being dead is far less likely than actually saving lives by being an organ donor.

syz's avatar

Myth No. 1. If I agree to donate my organs, my doctor or the emergency room staff won’t work as hard to save my life. They’ll remove my organs as soon as possible to save somebody else.
Reality. When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else’s. You’ll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular emergency. The doctor in charge of your care has nothing to do with transplantation.

Myth No. 2. Maybe I won’t really be dead when they sign my death certificate. It’ll be too late for me if they’ve taken my organs for transplantation. I might have otherwise recovered.
Reality. Although it’s a popular topic in the tabloids, in reality, people don’t start to wiggle a toe after they’re declared dead. In fact, people who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests to determine that they are truly dead than are those who haven’t agreed to organ donation.

Want to see the rest of the silly myths? Source

Also:

http://www.unos.org/News/myths.asp
http://www.blisstree.com/articles/10-organ-donation-myths/
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=57650
http://www.angelcove.us/transplant/organdonationfacts.html

cookieman's avatar

What @syz said above, and I’ve actually heard people say they don’t like the idea of “someone else walking around with their (or a loved one’s) organs”. I’ve heard it called “creepy” and “wrong”.

I don’t agree. I’ve been a donor since I could drive.

pinkparaluies's avatar

@cprevite I forgot about that. My Mother isn’t an organ donor for that reason. I plan to be cremated, which she also thinks is “creepy” because my organs shouldn’t be messed with after I’m dead…

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Death sucks, right? But personally, I can’t think of anything more comforting knowing that a piece (pieces) of me are helping someone else continue on. Dominoes bumping into dominoes and so on. The ripple effect. One action continues to create other actions. And so it goes…

JONESGH's avatar

I asked this question recently here.

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Thanx, JONESGH… I’m new here (30 minutes old) and am still learning. I read through your original thread… I laughed and cried…

JONESGH's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning no problem! welcome to fluther!

Thammuz's avatar

Pretty much because they have to rush transplants as long as the body is still good, therefore there really is little chance for an apparent death to be verified…

syz's avatar

@Thammuz Way to buy into those myths…..

tedibear's avatar

@Thammuz – source please?

I’m an organ donor, as is my husband. I would far prefer to have someone helped by what I leave behind than to take it with me. Seems like a waste. I’ve also declared that if I die of some funky brain-related disease, I want a research university/hospital to get my brain.

avvooooooo's avatar

Why do people ask this question over and over and over and over and over again? There are more, I just got tired of copying and pasting.

syz's avatar

@avvooooooo I’ve noticed that too, but since it’s such an important topic, I always post anyway in the hopes that someone’s mind might be changed (or at least encouraged to reassess their stance).

avvooooooo's avatar

Its like there’s a fucking agenda… Are they preaching “spread the word about organ donation” somewhere? “Make people feel guilty for thinking its creepy.” “Make people who can’t or won’t feel bad.” “Push the agenda no matter what and everywhere you can.”

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Why so angry, avvoooooo? Lighten up. Don’t know you so it’s easy to ask the question… What if your son, daughter needed a kidney and you weren’t a match. Nor was your mother or neighbor or best friend. Your son/daughter has very little time left for an organ. And the waiting list is months/years long… Do you think you’d try every possible avenue available to you to find that organ? Maybe even websites that ask questions?

syz's avatar

@avvooooooo While there is no conspiracy or “agenda”, it is an important issue.

avvooooooo's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning Oh yes, its easy to ask the question. Its easy to push an agenda of “everyone should do what I do.”

Don’t EVEN try and guilt trip me. THAT is what I find reprehensible about the agenda-pushers.

syz's avatar

* More than 101,000 people are waiting today for transplant surgeries, according to the official U.S. government Web site for organ and tissue donation. Each is waiting for “the gift of life.”
* The number of people who need a transplant continues to rise faster than the number of available donors. The waiting list for transplants grows by approximately 300 people each month.
* Each day, approximately 77 people receive an organ transplant.
* However, 19 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs.
Source

It’s not “what everyone else does” or guilt tripping, merely education.

avvooooooo's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning I am not, in any way, a “bro.”

Trying to guilt trip people in this matter is disgusting. Its up to them what they do with their bodies after they die, not you.

Are you aware of the… nevermind. You’re not. And you don’t care because you’ve made up your mind and are now trying to push your decision on others.

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

You’re close, but not not correct. I am not trying to “push my decision” on others. Just trying to peel back a few layers of misinformation so that people can make informed decisions. You, obviously, have your mind made up. Cool. Move along now. Nothing for you to see here…

avvooooooo's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning By doing what? Providing misinformation from pro-donation people? By reopening a topic that’s been discussed to death?

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Please share with the class any misinformation that’s been stated here.

ragingloli's avatar

I think doctors should be allowed to just take the organs they need from the dead. I mean, seriously, the guys are dead and no one is harmed by taking them, and otherwise the organs are just left to either rot or be cremated, while people, who could be saved by transplanting them, die.

syz's avatar

How is supplying correct information disgusting? You’ve expressed your opinion. Perhaps if these questions offend you so much, you should skip them? (Giving up and moving on now…)

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Yo, avvooooooo… Stay healthy, dude.

avvooooooo's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning As I have said, I am not a “bro.” Nor am I a “dude,” a “homie” or anything else people of limited intelligence call people. There are many sources of “information” that are so incredibly biased that they cease to become credible. You are more than likely pulling from one with your “facts.” Again, trying to guilt trip people into doing what you want them to do is reprehensible.

@syz “Correct” information from what source? The people who want organs donated? Yep. There are next to no unbiased sources of information on the matter. Here’s one that tells a different side to the story. They’re very hard to find since search results are flooded by people with the pro-donation agenda.

Blonderaven's avatar

I know there are some people (my dad for instance) who actually can’t donate organs. I think it’s because they’ve been to a country with malaria or have had certain deseases. Otherwise I really don’t see why you wouldn’t.

Thammuz's avatar

@syz Be that as it may, i’d rather hold on to my organs just in case, thank you, furthermore considering so far i never had a good reason to do otherwise. I’ll give my organs to a friend or a parent, though.

Moreover, i’d really rather specify that i want to leave my organs in a way tat wasn’t so visible, it would make it much easier to trust.

Science can have my corpse, though.

jfos's avatar

I’m all for helping people… but it strikes me as some kind of loophole to survival of the fittest.

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

avvooooooo – The article you reference is about “living donations” and is quite a different topic. I thought we were discussing donating after death. Changing the topic in an effort to tilt the argument your way is a cheap way out of the argument you are loosing…

casheroo's avatar

I was under the impression they can’t go by that alone, it could be outdated or something…and that they always get permission from family. So, in my opinion, there’s no point and I did not sign it because I know they’ll just ask my husband anyways.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Blonderaven Oh, but you won’t find information on who can’t donate. Not even directly searching for it.

Nor will you find information on those who’s religious beliefs tell them not to. Sites like this that misrepresent tenants of religion to push the agenda are out there, but the real information is harder to find. Translation “up to the individual” means “up to the individual to go against the real teachings of their religion.”

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning Have you not read anything I’ve said about information not posted by agenda pushing people being hard to find? Do you think I’m not sitting here trying to trick Google into giving me someone unbiased?

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Are you really trying to tell me that the internet does not have enough searchable information for you to find accurate information on this topic? Really?

AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning's avatar

Casheroo – It depends on what state you live in. Some states (most, in fact) look at your license as a legal doc and don’t have to ask your husband. Only a few states left that default to next of kin. If you want to dontate, everyone says to sign up online and tell your spouse. Cover your bases…

Blonderaven's avatar

@avoooooo or however many ‘o’s that is, my dad and everyone else I know who can’t was told by a doctor, but I guess if your not told there is no way of knowing. And it’s interesting you bring up religion I was wondering if that could be a factor. I suppose you could interprite ‘your body is gods temple’ to mean that, or you could say once your dead your spirits left and you should do some good with your body. All depends on the individual I suppose. And I’m on my iPod, so sorry can’t spellcheck.

avvooooooo's avatar

@AlwaysAskingAlwaysLearning Ok. Listen up. Got your attention? Huh? Stay with me.

The internet is flooded by pro-donation people. Pro-donation sites, those with slight untruths to flat out lies, are all over the internet. They dominate the search results because they intentionally use the same key words as those who tell a different story. “Disqualifications” and “restrictions” and other key words that you would think would give you what you’re looking for lead you to sites saying that there pretty much are none. False, misleading, and absurd.

One more time. The internet is flooded with misinformation from those biased people pushing an agenda. They believe in what they say enough to post over and over again, making it difficult to reach unbiased results in a search.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Blonderaven Very few people are told, even if they don’t qualify. And there are several religions that take a dim view of organ donation.

syz's avatar

Ok, I had planned to stop, but I just can’t stop myself.

@avvooooooo Or, perhaps, if you must completely ignore an overwhelming majority of sites operated by various and sundry medical representatives and organizations, the government, news organizations, non profits, religious organizations, and patients rights groups in order to seek out any information that supports your own bias (even in a media that supports “anything goes” and “if it’s on the internet it must be true” attitude), then maybe, just maybe, your own hypothesis is incorrect.

Just a thought. Not that I expect you to accept the possibility.

avvooooooo's avatar

@syz You want to believe things that are biased the way you are. I, however, am more concerned with the truth which probably doesn’t lie with people who are pushing the agenda of organ donation. I don’t care how reputable, if someone has a strong pro-donation bias, their information is suspect. Medical or other organizations who support donation are just as subject to bias as anyone else. Then there are those sites and people who flat out lie to support their agenda, like the “all religions support organ donation” site I posted.

gailcalled's avatar

I am an organ donor, but as with any medical procedure, things can go wrong for the recipient. From my personal experiences, I have heard nothing but good. A friend gave one of her kidneys to her adult son; both are doing fine.

It is better to give than recieve, however.

ragingloli's avatar

the “all religions support organ donation” site

“Gypsies are a people of different ethnic groups without a formalized religion. They share common folk beliefs and tend to be opposed to organ and tissue donation.”

“In Shinto, the dead body is considered to be impure and dangerous, and thus quite powerful. “In folk belief context, injuring as dead body is a serious crime. . .”, according to E Narnihira in his article, “Shinto Concept Concerning the Dead Human Body.” “To this day it is difficult to obtain consent from bereaved families for organ donation or dissection for medical education or pathological anatomy . . . the Japanese regard them all in the sense of injuring a dead body.” Families are concerned that they not injure the itai – - the relationship between the dead person and the bereaved people.”

avvooooooo's avatar

@ragingloli All those who say “individual decision” or something like that are fishy. That’s what I was looking at. They cite two as opposed, but I’m pretty sure that there are more than just the two. Excuse me for labeling this particular site incorrectly, there was another that was similar that mentioned no exceptions.

grumpyfish's avatar

@avvooooooo I strongly support the right of people to NOT be organ donors. However, I think it’s a very good idea, and there’s plenty of people being superstitious about it, and I like for people to at least be informed.

cookieman's avatar

I really don’t understand the debate. I die an organ donor…

1) Organ donation is legit and goes smoothly: Great I just helped save someone’s life.

2) Organ donation is a scam or goes horribly wrong: Sucks, but I’m dead! What the hell do I care?!

If your religious beliefs or medical condition prevents you, I can understand that. Beyond that, I just don’t see the need for concern.

avvooooooo's avatar

I’m sure some people here would rather see an opt-out program instead of an opt-in program. Too bad it would be unconstitutional. I never thought I’d find the day when something was un-Googleable, but I cannot find the list of disqualifications for donation beyond the obvious HIV, hepatitis and such that keep people from donating blood. They’re out there somewhere, but are very hard to find due to the gads of donation propaganda out there.

holden's avatar

@avvooooooo conspiracy theorist much?

The girl was just asking a question. If you don’t like it go find somebody else’s thread to hijack.

In answer to the original question, I am an organ donor. The most-cited reason I have heard for not becoming an organ donor is that it’s “weird” or unnatural to donate organs. I think some people become squeemish at the thought of their organs in other people’s bodies.

casheroo's avatar

@avvooooooo I was googling as well, and was wondering if my grandmother would have been disqualified. She passed away recently, and had contracted MRSA of the lungs in the hospital, and had sepsis. I googled, and found that hardly any medical problems (besides the obviously blood borne illnesses) disqualify someone, because they can still take other organs and tissue. I’m thinking, unless you are burnt, then you can donate tissue and the eyes in almost any scenario.

avvooooooo's avatar

@holden If it is, its the only one I hold. Its a fact that the only sites that are easily found are those that promote donation and that they flood th search results. It is a fact that bias exists in sites that promote anything. Just like sites that promote donating to the Republican party can be considered to have a Republican bias, sites that promote anything can be assumed to have a bias.

@casheroo The terms that are commonly use have to do with the “medical staff will make a determination” when/if the situation arises. It doesn’t say anything about things like obesity that, I believe, disqualify many of someone’s organs. The only sites I’ve found with my search terms also fail to mention the “few disqualifications” other than saying there are some. They’re out there, but are not easily found due to the aforementioned flooding of information channels with pro-donation propaganda.

casheroo's avatar

@avvooooooo Okay, but you think obesity disqualifies someone, but I highly doubt it would. Obese peoples organs are the same as a skinny persons, actually probably healthier. I think they really do go by a case by case basis, so they don’t have a list of anything, other than blood born illnesses (like you mentioned before, such as hiv or hepatitis) nothing would really disqualify a person.

avvooooooo's avatar

@casheroo I believe there’s something to do with nearly all hearts being unusable due to the heavier demands they’ve been working under (plus potential blockages) for an obese person as well as the possibility of blood sugar imbalances in those pre-diabetics damaging other organs. Not to mention fatty liver and other things. I know I’ve read this somewhere. My point is, its proven impossible to find the list of disqualifications due to the biased information in search results. Asking Google with all the terms I can think of (and all the advanced settings) is like asking Rush Limbaugh to give a view of the Democratic health care plan.

Siren's avatar

I think this is a very personal issue and personal choice. Granted, we may be in the position one day to require a donor organ ourselves. For those who don’t, I’m guessing some may just not understand the real need for organ donation (and feel queasy about learning about it, like giving blood), or feel it does not meet their religious views if they have any. It’s a conundrum.

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