Monday, August 10, 2009

FACT OR FICTION: Some More Organ Donation Myths

We have gathered another set of of popular organ donation myths to make up part 2 of our series. If you missed part 1, click here.

Myth #5:

Having "organ donor" noted on your driver's license or carrying a donor card is all that's needed in becoming a donor.
FICTION. To a certain degree this is true. However, during time of death, parents and guardians are often called in. There are occasions where parents, who happen to be against the donor's wishes, end up disallowing the donation.

Myth #6:

There is a black market in the U.S. for organs or tissues
FACT. As much as I don't like to admit it, the presence of a black market in the U.S. for organs and tissues as evidenced by the FBI's recent arrest of a rabbi in New York.

Myth #7:
Patients determined to be brain dead can recover from their injuries
FICTION. Medicine defines brain death as “irreversible unconsciousness with complete loss of brain function,” although the heartbeat may continue. The heart will eventually stop working shortly after brain death.

In this case, there is no recovery and medically, the process cannot be reversed.

Myth #8:
I'm too old to be a donor.
FICTION. There is no age limit when donating an organ. What is important is the state of health that the organs to be donated are in.

Myth #9:
I have poor health. I’m not fit to be a donor.
FICTION. There are very few limitations in being an organ donor. Some of these include having particular infectious diseases. Physicians will make an assessment of your health status and be able to give you a decision as to whether you may be a donor.

Myth #10:
If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs.
FICTION. No expenses will be charged to any organ donor or their families.

There you have it. Hopefully, this will help dispell those misconceptions that are keeping people from saving others' lives. Go out and be a donor!

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