9 myths about organ donation

Nine Myths & Facts About Organ Donation

Myth 1: If doctors in the hospital know I want to be a donor, they wont try to save my life.
Doctors wont let you die if you are a registered organ donor

Fact: It is important to understand that the medical staff trying to save your life is completely separate from the transplant team. Transplant surgeons are called in for the donation process only after all efforts to save a life have been made and death is either imminent or has occurred.

Myth 2: Some people can recover from brain death.
people cannot recover from brain death

Fact: No one can recover from brain death, but they can recover from some comas. Brain death and coma are not the same. Brain death is final and irreversible.

Myth 3: Deciding who receives a donor organ discriminates by race. Therefore, ethnic minorities should refuse to donate.

3 - organ donation and race

Fact: Organs are matched by such factors as blood and tissue typing. Potential recipients are actually more likely to receive a suitable organ when that organ is donated by someone of the same ethnicity or race.

Myth 4: The rich and famous are given donated organs ahead of ordinary people.
Organ Donation and Wealth - Wealthy organ recipient

Fact: Organ recipients are not selected based on fame or wealth. The national computerized organ matching system matches donors and recipients only by blood and tissue typing, organ size, medical urgency, length of time on the waiting list, and geographic location.

Myth 5: Senior citizens are too old to donate.
never too old or too young to donate an organ

Fact: Organs and tissue can come from people of all ages, ranging from newborn babies to seniors. The most important factor is physical condition, not age.

Myth 6: Families will be charged for donating a loved one's organs.
organ donors do not pay to donate

Fact: The donor’s family or estate is not responsible for the donation costs. Medicare and/or the recipient’s insurance bear the cost.

Myth 7: My body will be disfigured if I donate.
organ donors body respected for open casket

Fact: Any incisions made during the removal of organs and tissues are always closed following the end of the procedure, so the body is not disfigured and is ready for burial.

Myth 8: Organs are often sold, giving the medical community enormous profits.
it is illegal to sell human organs

Fact: The buying and selling of organs is strictly prohibited by federal law in the U.S. Any violators are punished by heavy prison sentences and fines.

Myth 9: My religion may prohibit organ donation.
all religions allow organ donation

Fact: Virtually all mainstream religions support organ and tissue donations and view them as unselfish charitable acts. Those families who have donated believe they have followed high moral and ethical standards and have made a true Gift of Life.