Would You Ever Donate Your Organs?
licensed drivers don’t sign up to be organ donors, and it may be due to fears
about the organ donation process, a new survey suggests.
38 percent of licensed drivers are registered to be organ donors, despite the fact
that many states offer a simple registration process that typically just
requires a signature when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license. An online
survey of 5,100 people conducted by the advocacy group Donate Life America
found that many people still harbor fears about what organ donation really
percent of people fear they are not healthy enough or are too old to
donate their organs.
percent of respondents are concerned that doctors will not try as hard to
save them if they are known to be an organ donor.
percent believe there is a black market in which people can buy or sell
organs or tissue.
percent question whether or not a person can recover from brain death.
Life chairwoman Sara Pace Jones said common misconceptions about organ donation
may be due, in part, to inaccurate media portrayals of the process.
fears are perpetuated by dramatic television shows that, because they have to
tell a complete story in an hour or less, don’t have time to show the accurate
and entire process of donation,” Ms. Pace Jones said. “Many times I have seen a
story unfold where the same physician treats the patient when admitted to the
hospital, takes them to surgery, pronounces the patient dead, accesses the
transplant list and does the organ recovery and transplant. But this is not how
the donation process happens. The doctor who is trying to save the life of the
injured patient is not the same doctor who recovers organs for transplantation.”
people understand exactly how the process of organ donation works is the first
step toward alleviating fears that doctors don’t work as hard to save organ
donors, she said. For instance, many people don’t realize that the
organizations that check donor and patient registries and coordinate donations
are separate from the hospital where a patient is treated.
are reassured that everything will be done to save their lives after an
accident when they understand that the doctors who treat them have nothing to
do with the transplantation process,” she said.
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