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    Organ Donor Question

    I was watching Sportscenter this morning and saw the special on the UNC Mascot kid that had an accident and gave all his organs to people after he had passed away. I currently am not an organ donor. I would love to be able to help other people out with my organs after I have died, but my question is, what are the implications for being an organ donor if you are on life support? I've always had confidence in myself to come back if I was in a coma (not in a stupid confidence way but I have always thought that I would want them to keep me around for a while so I could have a chance). My question is, if you are an organ donor is there a way to specify that you want to be kept on life support for a time at least? If I could do that I would want to be an organ donor, but my worst fear is hitting my head and going into a short term coma and somebody pulling the plug so they can get all my organs from me (and no, I'm not talking about my wife's excitement to get rid of me for my well-to-do teacher's pension ). Can anybody answer this one for me?



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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by tigershoops31 View Post
    I was watching Sportscenter this morning and saw the special on the UNC Mascot kid that had an accident and gave all his organs to people after he had passed away. I currently am not an organ donor. I would love to be able to help other people out with my organs after I have died, but my question is, what are the implications for being an organ donor if you are on life support? I've always had confidence in myself to come back if I was in a coma (not in a stupid confidence way but I have always thought that I would want them to keep me around for a while so I could have a chance). My question is, if you are an organ donor is there a way to specify that you want to be kept on life support for a time at least? If I could do that I would want to be an organ donor, but my worst fear is hitting my head and going into a short term coma and somebody pulling the plug so they can get all my organs from me (and no, I'm not talking about my wife's excitement to get rid of me for my well-to-do teacher's pension ). Can anybody answer this one for me?
    I think the two are completely unrelated - those wanting your organs have to take a back seat until your family is ready to pull the plug. Even then, there's no guarantee that they can get your organs as it's up to the discretion of the deceased's family, not the deceased, as to whether the organs will be donated (I'm not sure whether stating it in your will will guarantee the dispersal of your organs or not).

    Basically, I think they have to wait until you've been pronounced dead before they can start slicing and dicing (of course, if you find yourself in the wrong part of Chinatown at the wrong time of night, you may find yourself there one moment and wake up the next moment in a bathtub full of ice wondering why you have a six-inch slit in your abdomen and feeling like you're on the verge of death. Or is that an urban legend? )


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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    They way I understand it, is that the little "Y" or "N" on your driver's license doesn't reallly mean anything as your wife/parents/etc must ultimately make the decision and sign the papers. I'd say to just make sure that they know what you want.



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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    Here is some good info.

    Iowa Donor Registry



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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    Advanced Directive. If you don't have one, you should get one in place.


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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Advanced Directive. If you don't have one, you should get one in place.
    Yep, and a will.


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    Re: Organ Donor Question

    Tigershoop,

    What a great question about organ donation and I have heard it many times. A little over 6 years ago our family was confronted with a question just like this. My youngest sister (then 33) was comatose and stable laying in Iowa City at the U.

    One thing you don't want to put on your family is making a decision for YOU! However, we knew what my sister wanted and we were able to give the gift of life to many other people by her generous gifts.

    Props to Slycy for directing you to the Iowa Donor Registry site. By registering on this site you can indicate what you would like to donate as an organ donor. It's somewhat of a difficult process, but it is rather extensive in how they test to see if you are clinically brain dead if you are in a coma. They will not just pull the plug and cart you off to OR for your organs just because you are in a coma. Also, most people are not aware that once you are registered on the Organ Donor Registry, family members can not override your decision.

    As a result of my sisters situation and her amazing gifts I have taken an active role in organ donation and I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Donor Network. They are a wonderful organization and one of the leaders in organ procurement.

    As I've always told people that I talk to at different speaking events, "signing up as an organ donor is not something you just do, it something you do because it's in your heart to give others a second chance at life".

    If you would like to call and discuss your questions or interests in being an organ donor, please feel free to do so. Tim Retz - 515.669.9622 (cell).



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