Organ Donation Myths: Get Your Facts Right

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There are millions of people who are eagerly waiting for a liver transplant in India and that one phone call which says a suitable donor has been found. One of the biggest reasons for this long wait is: Donor Shortage.

Misconceptions about organ donation prevent many from signing up for this noble cause, thus causing shortage of donors. If everyone knew the facts about organ donation, imagine how many lives could have been saved!

Being an organ donor is a decision that is both generous and worthwhile. So, let’s walk you through some common myths and facts about organ donation. These will remove all the stumbling blocks of misconceptions from your mind and you’ll feel at ease when signing up as an organ donor.

Myth 1 – If you are suffering from any medical condition, you cannot be a donor.

Fact – “Anyone, regardless of their medical history and age can sign up to be an organ donor.” The transplant team decides through a series of tests whether you can be a donor or not. However, active cancer, HIV, or any other systemic infection would prevent someone from becoming a donor.

Myth 2 – If I sign up as an organ donor, at a later stage, the hospital would not try hard to save my life.

Fact – For any doctor, the priority is always to save your life. When you are in the hospital, you will be assisted well by a panel of doctors who excel in treating the condition you are suffering from. Your treatment procedure will have nothing to do with you being an organ donor.

Myth 3 – If I register as a donor, my organs may be removed even before I am declared clinically dead.

Fact – Deceased organ donation is performed only after someone is declared clinically brain dead. Also, people who have signed up as an organ donor undergo a series of tests so that the doctors are 100% sure that they are truly dead. The family of the deceased donor is not charged for these added tests.

Myth 4 – I am too young or old to be a donor.

Fact – There is no age limit for being an organ donor. If someone is under the age of 18 and wants to be a donor, their parents or legal guardians can authorize the decision. People, regardless of their age can be an organ donor and should always inform their family about the decision.

Myth 5 – The hospital will charge my family if I register myself as an organ donor.

Fact – You and your family will never be charged anything by the hospital whether you are acting as a living donor or a deceased donor. Transplant recipient has to bear all the expenses that will incur during the procedure.

Myth 6 – I am a Christian and if I register as an organ donor, my family would not be able to have an open casket funeral.

Fact – Removal of organs is like any other normal operation. Your body would not be disfigured, and your family will very well be able to have an open casket funeral.

Myth 7 – If I agree to donate a part of my liver as a living liver donor, my health will be hampered.

Fact – As a living liver donor, you will not face any health problem as doctors only take the amount of liver that is enough for the recipient. Also, the liver starts regenerating itself almost immediately.

Now that all the myths are cleared, you should consider becoming an organ donor. By being an organ donor you can give someone a new ray of hope in life.

Photo Credit: organindia.org

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