Organ donation is arguably the noblest step you could ever take. After all, your decision can grant the gift of life to others. However, there are a lot of myths to organ donation out there that may be clouding your mind, making you feel unsure about the entire exercise. So this Organ Donation day, we decided to separate facts from fiction, so you can think it through and make an informed decision.
If I am involved in a severe accident and end up at the hospital, the doctors won’t bother to save my life if I’m already registered as a donor.
This is undoubtedly the most ludicrous notion doing the rounds. Doctors are bound by their ethics to save your life if you’re sick or injured. That is their #1 priority, and that doesn’t change, irrespective of whether you’ve signed up as a donor or not. The question of organ donation only arises when all lifesaving methods have been exhausted.
I have a medical condition. So I cannot become a donor.
You can always sign up for organ donation, no matter what your age is or the medical condition you have. The transplant team will evaluate your case based on established medical criteria and then proceed with organ donation. Every case is decided on merit, and you may still be fit to donate your organs even with a medical illness.
In reality, there are very few disorders that automatically deem you unfit for organ donation.
I am too old to be an organ donor.
There isn’t any age limit when it comes to organ or tissue donation. Again, your case will be evaluated on its merit and strict medical criteria.
My family will have to bear the expenses of organ donation.
Donors or their families are never charged for organ donation.
Rich or influential people may skip the waiting line and get the transplant ahead of others.
Nobody is ever prioritized when it comes to organ donation, no matter if it’s a celebrity, politician, or other influential figures. One’s financial status or clout isn’t any parameter in the race to receive an organ. Instead, factors that are taken into consideration include blood type match, time spent in waiting, the urgency of getting a transplant, and geographical proximity/location.
Income, race and religion are non-factors.
If I sign up for organ donation, I can save only one life.
You can save up to eight lives! Commonly, the organs and tissues that can be used from a single donor include the eyes, lungs, pancreas, liver, kidney, intestines, heart, bones, skin, and tendons. Similarly, one tissue donor can give life to as many as 75 people!
There are two ways to organ donation:
You can choose to donate your organs, irrespective of whether you’re too old or suffering from a medical affliction. Stringent medical parameters are adhered to while deciding one’s case for organ donation. Every case is decided and evaluated on merit.
However, it is recommended that you intimate your family about your wish. Nobody should be kept in the dark if you eventually go ahead with the decision to donate your organs/tissues.
No. The donor (or his/her family/estate) doesn’t have to pay anything.
No. There is no cap on age for a donor. There are recorded cases of people who have donated their organs and tissues successfully in their 90’s. However, if the donor is not yet an adult (below 18 years of age), the consent of his/her guardians would be required.
No. Organ and tissue donation is a surgical procedure that doesn’t disfigure the body or ruin arrangements for open-casket funerals (if desired).
Suppose you have decided to go ahead with organ donation. In that case, you will have to duly fill the donor form that you can obtain from the official website of Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation. Next, follow the simple steps mentioned below:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi – 110029
You will receive a donor card (along with the registration number) should your request be accepted.