The truth about organ donation
Every 18 hours, someone in New York State dies waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. One reason for the shortage: A few misconceptions make people hesitant to sign up for organ donation or agree to allow a loved one’s organs to be used, according to LiveOnNY, a nonprofit, federal organ procurement organization in the greater New York metropolitan area.
Here are four common myths that prevent people from signing up to be an organ donor and the real story:
Myth 1: Doctors won’t try as hard to save my life.
Truth: Physicians take their oath very seriously, and in the event of a tragic accident or health crisis, they will do everything in their power to save your life or that of your loved one. Organ donation is not even considered until there is nothing more that can be done medically.
Myth 2: I won’t be able to have a proper funeral.
Truth: Recovering organs is done with the utmost care and respect, specifically so that the person’s family can have an open casket if they choose. Furthermore, all major religions support and encourage organ donation.
Myth 3: I’m not healthy enough to be an organ donor.
Truth: Neither advancing age nor some chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis C, are organ-donation deal breakers. The oldest-ever donor in metro New York was a 93-year-old woman whose liver saved someone else’s life. If you register as a donor, you never know how many people you can help.
Myth 4: Registering is complicated.
Truth: This used to be true, but these days you can register online. In November 2017, the New York State Department of Health launched Donatelife.ny.gov. Once you register, share your decision with your loved ones, so they’ll support your wishes — and perhaps also sign up themselves.