Because transplantation is still a relatively new and evolving science, it is understandable that people create and spread rumors about organ donation.
The following information provides facts that counter the most common misconceptions about donation.
1. There is no black market for organs in the U.S.
There is no documented evidence of an illicit market for organs in the United States. Not only is the sale of organs illegal, but due to the sheer complexity of transplantation, it’s practically impossible.
2. They won’t recover organs before death is declared.
Brain death is a medically, legally and morally accepted determination of death, and two independent, licensed physicians must make the diagnosis before the organ donation process can begin.
3. If you are an organ donor, medical professionals would work just as hard to save you.
The medical team treating you is separate from the transplant team. OneLegacy is not notified until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death is imminent. OneLegacy does not notify the transplant team until the donor’s family has consented to donation.
Furthermore, organ donation is only possible under the extremely rare circumstances that a patient suffers a major head injury but the body is kept functioning with a ventilator.
4. Rich and famous people do not move to the top of the waiting list.
The system of allocation does not factor wealth or social status. According to UNOS, which maintains the national transplant waiting list, “the length of time it takes to receive a transplant is governed by many factors, including blood type, length of time on the waiting list, severity of illness and other medical criteria.” In some cases, an individual who appears in good health one day can require an emergency transplant within a few days. “Factors such as race, gender, age, income or celebrity status are never considered when determining who receives an organ.”
5. The donor family is not burdened with costs related to organ donation.
A donor’s family is never charged for organ donation. From the moment a family gives consent for donation, OneLegacy bears the costs associated with the recovery of organs for transplantation. However, the family is responsiblae for all hospital expenses incurred prior to the death of the donor and all funeral expenses.
6. All major religions approve of organ donation and transplantation.
With the exception of Shinto, all organized religions support donation, with many considering it a generous act that is the individual’s choice.
For more information, call 24-hour organ/tissue donor referral line at (800) 338-6112.