Organ donation controversy

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If we were to listen to TV, being an organ donor is a no brainer.  When we die, our organs are no longer of use to us. Emotional commercials tell us that we can save another person after our death. There even have been a couple of movies made about this.

So what's the problem and why isn't everyone lining up to donate their organs - seems like a win-win situation, doesn't it.

Unfortunately, it's typical of the truth which is rarely plain and never simple.

If you are signed up as a donor, they cannot wait until you are dead to harvest your organs because after death, the organs may not be transplantable.  So they had to come up with a set of criteria for determining death which enables them to proclaim a living person dead so they can get the organs!

The problem is, when IS a person really beyond recovery?  People proclaimed hopelessly brain-dead have been known to revive and live a normal life! This is one reason why I am not an "organ donor".  That is, with a set of slippery rules for determining that a person still living is dead "enough" to get their organs, it's a no brainer that there will be some abuse!  I'd rather not go there, thank you.

That and the fact, that medicine has not advanced to the point where organ donation can be done (in most cases) so that life in the transplant patient is significantly extended and also giving the transplant patient a good quality of life.  Transplant patients are more susceptible to illness since it is necessary to "shut down" their immune system with medications, some of which have some nasty side effects, to avoid rejection of the organ and also, transplant patients, according to a recent study, are significantly more susceptible to cancer.

This is a personal decision each must decide for his/herself - i.e. whether to donate and/or whether to become a transplant patient.  Hopefully the links in this section will help a bit in that decision.