In Monty Python’s film ” The Meaning of Life” nothing is sacred. In one scene an obese man explodes in a restaurant after greedily eating a gigantic meal . In yet another scene a teacher and his wife personally demonstrate to the class of young boys what sexual intercourse is between a man and a woman…
Why then would they tackle the subject of organ donation with any less vigor? In the scene in question a knock comes at a man’s door. “Hello, can we have your liver?” asks John Cleese, clad in a white coat on the doorstep, “But, I’m (still) using it!!!” objects the resident. His wife comes along as Cleese and company are ripping the liver from her screaming husband, “is this because he took out one of those silly cards?,” she asks, and then adds, “Typical of him! Always full of good intentions!”
While art –in this case comedy– can turn our eyes inwards, scenes like this, urban legends, and other myths have done much to discourage organ donation in our society. At the crux of the matter is the fact that organ donation can save lives. Many lives. When you pass away your thoughtfulness and selflessness can give someone back a life they might otherwise not live.
Here is that myth debunked.
THE MYTH: If I sign my donor card or register my consent & I become injured or sick, the Doctors will not take every care to keep me alive. Instead they will let me die with an eye towards harvesting my organs.
MYTH BUSTED: The registry can’t be accessed until a person is declared dead. Also, ICU doctors are a different bunch than the Transplant Docs. You need two independent docs trained in the diagnosis of brain death to proceed to donation. No two docs, no donation.
There’s a bunch of other protections as well. The key thing is, if this myth happened even once, donor rates would collapse, the system requires total confidence.
GOT ANY MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT DONATION? To do with religion? Care of the body (did you know the body is treated with the utmost care and is still suitable for an open casket funeral?) Anonymity? Let ‘er rip & I’ll try and get the official answer for the blog.
I’m really curious to know what holds people back from registering to donate — squeamishness? confronting mortality? think you are too old (oldest tissue donor was in their 90s!) just too busy to sign up? Lemmeno’ what drives your decision. Remember, a non-decision is essentially a no… TALK TO YOUR FAMILY TODAY if you want to be a hero and save lives!!!! Many families take great comfort in knowing their loved one helped to bring some good out of a tragedy. Consider signing the registry www.giftoflife.on.ca
At this time of thanksgiving I would just like to go on record and say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!
This is an ongoing blog detailing the post-double lung transplant recovery of Alex Parker. Alex received the Gift of Life on Tuesday November 4th 2008. This is a testament to her strength and an attempt to honour the most thoughtful gesture of her donor.