Organ Donation

Now you have to designate on your license to be an organ donor. What do you think about having to OPT OUT? organ donation would be automatic unless there is something on your license that says you dont want to be an organ donor. What are the pros and cons?

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There would be a certain amount of ignorance in a lot situations. Most people are barely cognizant of what goes on their licenses. I'd be afraid that the situation wouldn't be completely explained to them, and they'd go into it unaware.

And then you could have family members that are against the donation saying how "So and So didn't make that choice, he/she didn't understand when they got their license, so it doesn't apply"

Unfortunately, while I'd LOVE for organ donation to be more prominent and frequent, making it an 'automatic' thing probably wouldn't work. It really needs to be an informed decision.
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It depends on your state laws. In some states, despite your wishes, it's left up to your family.
It would be fine with me, especially now that we don't even have to go into the DMV to renew anymore and can just do auto-renewal over the internet. It really reduces the number of people that change their minds.

There would be a certain amount of ignorance in a lot situations. Most people are barely cognizant of what goes on their licenses. I'd be afraid that the situation wouldn't be completely explained to them, and they'd go into it unaware.

And then you could have family members that are against the donation saying how "So and So didn't make that choice, he/she didn't understand when they got their license, so it doesn't apply"

Unfortunately, while I'd LOVE for organ donation to be more prominent and frequent, making it an 'automatic' thing probably wouldn't work. It really needs to be an informed decision.
Originally Posted by MimsTX
What's funny is that I'm not sure how informed or uninformed you can be. It's pretty simple--they take your organs and give them to someone else. You're either for it or against it. Are there really people that have to study up on it to make a decision?

And as Cympreni said, it doesn't really matter anyway. Family members are still allowed to override the donor's wishes.
As far as the license goes, it asks if you want to be an organ donor. You answer yes or no. Do some people not answer at all? If I answer yes or no, then I would think that would be my decision, not my family's.

I've already told my family I'm an organ donor. They are fine with this, so there won't be a problem. I'd hate to think they would have a problem with this & could override my decision, especially since this is very important to me.
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It's more that I think people wouldn't be paying attention, and not realize the authorization they're giving or witholding.

With something as personal as organ donation, I think it really should be a concious decision the person makes, and having steps to take it, rather than steps to AVOID it, means it remains a concious decision.

And it bothers me that familys can override. If you've made a choice, one way or another, and made your wishes on the matter clear (via living will, or organ donation certification) your say SHOULD be the final matter on it. If you haven't taken the steps to make your decision legal and everything, that's a little different, but in general...

Just my opinion though.
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Opt-out is the default in Spain, and they lead the European and North American countries in the rate of organ donation. Doctors still must ask the family's permission. Apparently families have become more willing to approve donation over the 20 years since Spain changed their policy. I think it's a good thing.
I've been an organ donor since I got my learners permit at 15. It seemed pretty simple to me even then...I'm dead...It's not like I'm gonna need that heart or kidney, they're gonna rot and turn into fertilizer....I might as well let someone that needs them have them. I learned later on...its just not that clear cut to a lot of people.

When I was working on my masters, I took a class in epidemiology (the study of disease distribution in the population) and I had to write a paper on the epidemiology of organ donation. There are a LOT of people that believe that if you are an organ donor, that doctors don't work has hard to save your life, because they want to harvest your organs. I also learned that a lot of minority patients tend to believe this, which results in less minorities becoming organ donors.

This is really scary, because its harder to match a minority recipient to a caucasian donor because of some variance in the DNA (i can't remember exactly what it was called), BUT because of those same variances, a caucasian recipient can basicly be matched to any donor (minority or caucasian). Its very similar to with blood typing..."O" is the universal donor, while "AB" is the universal recipient (i hope that makes sense...that's the only analogy I can think of that is widely known).

Anyway, because it is easier to match a caucasian recipient with a donor, a lot of minorities have fears that minority patients are purposely kept from recieving organs, that caucasian patients are moved up on the transplant list ahead of them on purpose and so on and so forth. I think that also because of some historical mistreatment (Tuskegee Experiment and a few others) that when it comes to ethics and somewhat "experimental" treatments (and many folks still see organ transplatation as experimental) they just are not trusting of the medical community.

Its a vicious cycle...less minority donors means that less minority patients will be able to find good matches. Less matches means that more minorities will linger and eventually die while waiting for an organ transplant.

Even with all of that, I don't think that opting OUT of organ donation is the right way to go. There are a lot of people that simply don't understand what organ donation is and how the transplant process works. I think until these ethical issues are put to bed once and for all, there will always be a segment of the population that is going to be distrustful and fearful of something that forces this choice on them....espically if it comes off as they are being "tricked".
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That's really interesting, NCC. I had no idea that's what people thought. See, this is why I don't make policies.

Here in Washington, it used to be that if you wanted to be an organ donor, you would check the yes box. If you do nothing, you just don't get that put on your license. Then when you die, your family can still choose to donate your organs or not. I'm not sure if that's still how it goes.

I do wish there were more people willing to be organ donors. I get ooged out by the idea of leaving my body to science, but organ donation is a no-brainer to me.
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You would be surprised. I went to gradschool at an HBCU, and part of our schools "outreach" is with the surrounding communites. So alot of the research that we did was very community oriented and as such, in our policy classes (actually just about all graduate level classes) we had to actually go out and do leg work to see how various policies affect the people that "can't fight for themselves" so to speak. It was very grass roots but it was one of the reasons that I chose it because I think a lot of people "loose touch" the higher up the education/social ladder they go, and they tend to think that most people "think like they do" when in fact...they don't.

Back on topic, in addition to the usual research I did, I had to do a statistically sound survey. I talked to people of all races, SES statuses, education levels the works. And a LOT of people that were quite well educated (white and black) felt that the doctors might have some sort of "incentive" to not try as hard and use those "long shot measures" to save thier lives or the lives of thier loved ones if it was known that they are an organ donor. I think that shows like ER where they show scenes where the doctors are pressuring a family to donate a loved ones organs while the machine is still beeping kinda add to the dramatization that seems VERY real to these people.
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here are a LOT of people that believe that if you are an organ donor, that doctors don't work has hard to save your life, because they want to harvest your organs. I also learned that a lot of minority patients tend to believe this, which results in less minorities becoming organ donors.
Yes, my husband thought this way for a long time. That and I think some people believe your body should be "complete" going into the grave to be resurrected.

I had to ask my husband "Well, what if you were someone who needed an organ transplant?" and then he changed his mind. He is a donor now.
Opt-out is the default in Spain, and they lead the European and North American countries in the rate of organ donation. Doctors still must ask the family's permission. Apparently families have become more willing to approve donation over the 20 years since Spain changed their policy. I think it's a good thing.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
What you choose on your license isn't exactly legally binding- in fact, when I had to make this choice for my Dad, no one even mentioned looking on his license to see if he'd checked one of the boxes. I knew from previous conversations that it was something he would have wanted to do (his liver was successfully donated).

Anyway, I think Spain's method should be adopted here. The person's next of kin would still have final say in the matter, but at least they'd know that the person wasn't really opposed to it unless they had selected "no."
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Mrspoppers

You would be surprised. I went to gradschool at an HBCU, and part of our schools "outreach" is with the surrounding communites. So alot of the research that we did was very community oriented and as such, in our policy classes (actually just about all graduate level classes) we had to actually go out and do leg work to see how various policies affect the people that "can't fight for themselves" so to speak. It was very grass roots but it was one of the reasons that I chose it because I think a lot of people "loose touch" the higher up the education/social ladder they go, and they tend to think that most people "think like they do" when in fact...they don't.

Back on topic, in addition to the usual research I did, I had to do a statistically sound survey. I talked to people of all races, SES statuses, education levels the works. And a LOT of people that were quite well educated (white and black) felt that the doctors might have some sort of "incentive" to not try as hard and use those "long shot measures" to save thier lives or the lives of thier loved ones if it was known that they are an organ donor. I think that shows like ER where they show scenes where the doctors are pressuring a family to donate a loved ones organs while the machine is still beeping kinda add to the dramatization that seems VERY real to these people.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
And you'd think I'd know this because it's the same principle in marketing--that you can't assume people think the same and/or think like you do.

Thanks for the education.
I'm all for donating organs and I will probably donate my body to science as well. But I'm against mandatory donation or having to make the conscious decision to opt out. I know people who are skeptical of doctors and think their lives might not be saved if they are organ donors. That fear is really out there. And there are unethical doctors, just like there are unethical any group of people. So, I kind of understand why they feel that way. Also, there are certain religious groups who are opposed to organ transplants. It's odd because our bodies rot and decay anyways, so our bodies aren't intact even if we do "resurrect," as they believe. But that's a whole other discussion, there. LOL
But that is what they believe. And our country is very respectful of religious beliefs/decisions, for better or worse.
I do think people need to be educated, because it is a complicated issue, actually...more complicated than at first glance. Also, people with medical problems might think their organs are no good and refuse to donate...when maybe they should at least let the doctor decide that, when the time comes.
Rather than making it mandatory or making it where a person has to Opt Out...why not increase education and awareness about this? That, to me, makes the most sense.
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Everyone in the family is an organ donor, it was a no brainer. My parents have also made it very clear on their living will requests and asked us what we wanted to be done. Hell we've even talked about funeral arrangements.
I'm not an organ donor, and won't be donating organs of anyone that I care about. I'm against mandatory or opt-out only programs or laws. Call me paranoid, but I've seen enough to know that there are unscrupulous medical practices out there. I don't like the way they harvest organs either.
What do you think about having to OPT OUT? organ donation would be automatic unless there is something on your license that says you dont want to be an organ donor.
Originally Posted by Aphro-Deeziac
I think it should be this way! One of the European countries has this, Switzerland maybe? They have the lowest wait time for organs of any country.
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I became an organ donor 2 months ago!

The deciding factor, after having my license for 5 years, happened after my little brother passed away this summer.

Obviously he didn't have the choice of opting in or out, but the doctors asked my family and we all said yes.

Turns out, they were able to use his corneas for 2 people...a 6-year-old and a 15-year-old now have sight because of my little brother's gift.

If the recipients ever want to meet my family and I they have the option... I want to meet them so badly! I would love to see how my brother's gifts gave them a new life.

So, yeah....it was definitely a no brainer when I got my license renewed for my 21st birthday. I would never hesitate to give someone the gift of sight or even save their life.
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To reiterate - the most important thing is to tell your family, specifically whoever will make the decisions. I've told everyone I know that once I'm gone, anything I have can be used by anyone who needs it. I don't need care what goes in the casket. I don't even care whether or not I go in a casket. My family and friends know that. I've signed a living will and told my pastor. Tell anyone who might be making the decision (and make sure it's an emotionally strong person who won't be swayed by someone else).
Regarding the OP I think being a donor should be a conscious choice, not something you opt out of.

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