By: Krystle Crossman
Did you know that by becoming an organ donor you have the potential to save up to eight lives? It is scary to think about death and what happens to us after we pass on. Many people consent to organ donation but don’t fully understand how many lives they can save. There are a few myths out there about organ donation that stops people from becoming a donor. Thousands of lives are lost every year because people had to wait for a transplant that never came. Here are some myths and truths about organ donation:
1. Someone will kidnap you and steal your organs: This is a crazy myth but it is one that stops many people from marking down that they want to be a donor. They feel that if someone knows that they are a donor they are going to have their organs stolen and sold on the Black Market. However if someone were going to do that they probably don’t care if you are a donor or not!
2. Doctors and paramedics will not save you: Some people believe that doctors and paramedics will not work as hard to save you if you are an organ donor. This is completely false. The only time that they would never try to save you is if you have a Do Not Resuscitate order in place. Most doctors do not know that you are an organ donor until after someone has passed on and paramedics have no access to that information at all unless they check your driver’s license if you are unconscious.
3. You are too old: You are never too old to be an organ donor. You may be up there in years but your organs could still be “young”. The doctors will be able to determine if your organs can help someone else so it is better to check off that you are willing to donate if you want to than brushing it off because you think that you are too old.
4. Organ donation goes against your religious beliefs: Organ donation is actually accepted among many different denominations such at Catholicism, Islam, and Christianity. If you aren’t sure you can contact Health and Human Services as they have a list of religious beliefs that organ donation is acceptable and unacceptable for.
5. Doctors will not make sure that you really are dead before they pull the plug: False. Doctors will run test after test to make sure that there is no brain activity left at all. They sign off with other doctors who also verify the information. Just because you are a donor does not mean that the doctors will pull the plug early just to get the organs.
You can sign up to be an organ donor through your local DMV when you go to renew your license. You can also register through Organize.org which sends out your donation information to 40 states. You can select which organs should and should not be donated.