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organ donor

been watching telly this morning,

them going on about the family wont have a chioce about donating there loved ones organs if they died.

thats if that person is already on the donor list,

why do some people not want to save another persons life by being a donor,

if you knew you could save another pesons life after you death,what stops you from doing it.

loads of people die each year because people refuse to donate.

i would be nice to hear points of view from both sides.

mel xxx

13 Replies

technically the family have never had a right of veto, but mst doctors wouldn't want to further upset the family by going against their wishes, and I think this will probably stay the same. Knowing that someone is on the register does help in discussion s with the family though, as you have evidence that it was what the patient wanted.

some religious groups have objections to transplant therefore don't want to be donors. some people I guess just find the whole idea icky, and want to keep their loved one 'whole'. I think also the idea of keeping someone ventilated etc until you harvest the organs must be really hard - even though the person is brain dead, if they are still ventilated it is harder to really get your head round them being dead I suppose. Corneas can be donated after death not on a ventilator but that is pretty much it (they can also be donated by cancer patients, so are the only thing we can harvest on many of my patients).

I am in favour of donation, don't get me wrong, but I can see how many distressed families find it too much to think about when their relly has died suddenly, as often these are relatively sudden deaths. I think often medical staff find it really hard to ask too, so that doesn't help.



i can understand what you mean,

it must be really hard to loose some one close to you and then some one to ask you if its ok too use parts of there body,

i think organ donation is the best thing a person can do but i do understand it can be very akward situation,thats why more people should become organ donors if they want to,just so there family dont have to go through being asked.

thanks owl


I am not saying i am for or against donating organs, all i would say i can understand trying to take in what has happened in a sudden death is a big enough demand. To be asked to donate organs etc on top of this must be so traumatic. That is why it is so improtant it is discussed before the issue arises. Although it is not an easy converstaion to have. I think t is very hard to decide such things until we are faced with the situation of needing an organ or being asked to donate. It is easy to say yes i was a donated organ but until you are faced with and fully understand the possible side effects and other issues of it possibly not working, the same with people asked to donate until it is staring you in the face it is hard to comprhend.


I have had he dissucssion with my family a long time ago even before I was ill and made it clear how I feel. I have been in the situation of telling people that their loved one has died and it so hard on them especially if it is unexpected like a car accident. It takes time to digest news like that so it is then very hard for them to then to consider donation of organs. To some people they see it as taking something away and if they believe there is another life after, some people believe they will need everything to go and enjoy that future life where ever it may be.

It is a very personal thing and everyone views it differently. I do think that having good working procedures in place as we have in this country does help a lot and safe guard peoples feelings and wishes very well.


thank you all for your comments,i think is very inportant to talk about it with your family so if something does happen they know what your wishes are,

but even more important put your name on the donor list (only if you wish to donate that is)


My husband has held my hand through countless attacks, sat by my bed in ICU when I've been ventilated and has seen me have respiratory arrests. The only time I have seen him get upset about my asthma is when I told him that I would want to be an organ donor.

I'm strongly in favour of organ donation, and will persist in making my family aware of my wishes, but I can understand that some people find it too upsetting to discuss, even before the event. At work, I've seen both sides: patients endlessly waiting for an organ, and sometimes dying before they get one, and families who are too upset to contemplate agreeing to donating their loved one's organs.

The idea of making it an opt-out system has often been proposed.... basically everyone would be assumed to be in favour of donating their organs unless they had specifically stated otherwise. I'm not sure that this would help: as Owl says, it's not currently a legal obligation to get the relatives' permission, but it's done as a matter of courtesy and consideration to the relatives. I can't see how that would change with an opt-out system; there would still be a moral, if not legal, obligation to get permission from the relatives, so the awkward and distressing conversations, and often refusals, would still happen. If anything, it might be more difficult to persuade relatives if the potential donor didn't carry an 'opt in' donor card because they assumed it wasn't necessary.

The bottom line is that not enough people die in circumstances suitable to donate their organs to meet the demand, and the only solution to that is surely research to find alternatives to organ donation, such as mechanical artificial organs and laboratory grown tissue culture organs. Not wishing to get too political, but GWB's stance on stem cell research ain't exactly helping things along...

Interesting topic.

Take care all,

Em H (<---- on her political hobby horse...)


thank you em,

i know alot of people find the topic of organ donation very frightening and upseting and i can understand why,

my auntie died and she wished to be organ donor but my uncle said no even though thats what her wishes where.

i think she thought part of her might of lived on if she had donated.

i know people have differant views.

my boyfriend died when i was 16 because he didnt get a transplant,i think thats why im so for it.

but i still find it hard to belive that if someones death can save another persons life why they wont do it.





A couple of my friends are running the 'live life then give life' campaign. Selling the 'I'd give you one...' and 'live life then give life' t-shirts to get more people to sign upto the organ donor register. Visit to buy a t-shirt :). Emily whos 22, started the campaign earlier this year when she realised time was running out. Shes waiting for a double lung transplant for cystic fibrosis and was told she had 12mths to live in March 2005, 18mths on shes still here, still fighting, but also still waiting. Shes all to aware that theres a 50% chance she will not get new lungs in time. Shes in hospital at the moment after having 4 pneumothoraxs and a haemothorax that left her fighting for her life but shes taking part in the hydroactive women's challenge on Sunday and is aiming to walk over the finish line with her 60 angels that will be supporting her,

Some facts taken from Emily's website:

You are more likely to need a transplant than to become a donor

Although 90% of the population support organ donation, only 22% of the population are on the organ donor register

Nearly 7000 people are currently waiting for a transplant

Less than 3000 transplants are carried out each year

Last year over 400 people died whilst waiting for a transplant

All the major religions support organ donation and many actively promote it ;)

tks xxxxx


I am an organ donor, no-one would want my lungs but I have turbo charged liver:) My family all know that is what I want and I am registered as are alll my family at their request. I am little squemish about corneas but I am not going to know about it or need them so they can have them.]

I am pro-opt rather than opt in. I do beleive that certain religions forbid the being an organ donor and for those religions there should be an automatic opt out. Careful reserch needs to be done on the relions side as ""all major religions"" only covers certain ones mainly those recognised by the Home Office for example Paganism is not yet (soon will be) recognised as a religion not that it is a problem for us but you can see what I mean. However a list with the right person should prevent any religion beign offended. I also don't beleive organs should be taken without at least informing the next of kin wha is happening either.


side note that Jedi Knights will never get recoginiton as it is not how many who claim it but various other things that lead to a religion being recognised.


hi bex and tks,

thank you very much for your reply,

i wish there was nothing that stopped any body from being a donor,

in many ways you can see why some people dont want to be a donor,but its such a shame,

i know some people cant donate for some reason or other or just not able to offer nothing.

well im on the donor list and they can have anything that is any good!!!


mel xxx


This is always such a hard subject to discuss but my family all know my stance on it and have agreed with me.

If i die and i can help someone else with a part of me then take it , i have no use for it(mind u i dont think anyone would want my lungs either!!)

Both my hubby and i are registered donors as are all 3 kids . We have spoken to them about it and they all said they would want to help.

We had to have this chat as last yr before my sister died the Drs had mentioned a kidney transplant and i had been tested to see if i was a match (i wasnt and deemed unsuitable because of my own problems anyway) but it was after that we had our family chat and put the official stamp on it as such. Both my mums and dads are also registered.

When i was a student nurse i had to sit in on a family being asked about donation and it was one of the hardest things i ever was part of, seeing the family so upset by sudden death of a child but the childand family in the past had mentioned it and thankfully the parents did agree.

I do understand the religious side to things as well but find it hard to uderstand anyone who is against donation.


Personaly I belive that people who are not registered as willing to donate organs should not be alowed to recive one (with exception of children ofcourse). It would motivate people to register if they knew that if they are not willing to donate they are not eligible to recive either. I don't think though that people should be registered automaticaly unless we can make sure thet everyone is aware of that and its implications and clearly informed how they can opt out.

I don't think that family should have a last word in this situation. While I can only try to imagine how hard it must be to lose a loved one I strongly belive that wishes of a person who died should be respected. If they were willing to donate family should not be able to stop them. They shuld be offered all the support they need to come to terms with the situation but should not be able to prevent donation from going ahead. I think that if people were not forced to make a decision but rather informed about the decision that they loved ones made when they still were alive that could even be easier in some situations.

My plan works well until we come to children. They cannot register as donors themselves and parents must decide for them. It must be increadibly hard for them and the time pressure just makes it worse. If children are older it would probably be a good idea to discuss it with them as we do with adult family members.


Anna is right it is incredibly hard to make the decision of donating a child's organs. Our daughter's organs were no use when she died because she didn't get to hospital quick enough but I found it hard enough her having to have a post mortem. I couldn't bear the thought of her being cremated either. I really don't think I was in a fit enough state at the time to make any decision about whether her organs could be donated or not when i was already in a great deal of shock.



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