Nine Myths & Facts About Organ Donation


Myt
h 1: If doctors in the hospital know I want to be a donor, they will not try to save my life.

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.


M
yth 2: Some people can 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 


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

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.

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.  

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.

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


M
yth 7: My body will be disfigured if I donate.  

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.


M
yth 8: Organs are often sold, giving the medical community enormous profits.

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.  

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.