Myths and Misconceptions
MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS
MYTH: A physician or EMT may not do everything possible to care for me in an emergency situation in order to take my organs for transplant.
FACT: Doctors and EMTs will put a patient’s life first and foremost. The patient’s life is their only concern. Organ donation does not become a factor until all lifesaving efforts have been attempted and death has occurred.
MYTH: Wealthy people and celebrities are moved to the top of the list ahead of “regular” patients.
FACT: No one can buy thier way to the top of the organ transplant list. The organ allocation and distribution process is blind to wealth or social status. The length of time it takes to receive a transplant is governed by many factors: blood type, patient size, time on the waiting list, severity of illness and other medical criteria. Factors such as ethnicity, gender, age, income or celebrity status are not considered.
MYTH: My religion does not support organ donation.
FACT: All major religions support organ, eye and tissue donation. In many cases, most religions see donation as the ultimate act of helping others.
MYTH: I have a history of medical illness, so you would not want my organs or tissues.
FACT: We encourage anyone to sign up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor. At the time of death, a patients medical and social history will be reviewed to determine medical suitability for donation. With the advancement of medical technology, there are more eligible donors than before.
MYTH: I am too old to be a donor.
FACT: There is no age limit for donation. At the time of death, appropriate medical professionals will determine whether organs and tissues are viable for transplantation. Recovery for research, therapy, and whole body donation are possible options as well.
MYTH: I don’t need to register to be a donor or tell my family that I want to be a donor, because I have it written in my will.
FACT: By the time your will is read, it will be too late to recover your organs. Registering to become a donor and telling your family about your decision is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out. You may also write an advanced directive or in a health care power of attorney where you designate someone to make decisions if you are unable to, to carry out your wishes of becoming a donor.
MYTH: Regular funeral services are not possible following organ donation because donation will mutilate the body.
FACT: While donation may delay funeral arrangements for up to 36 hours, regular funeral and memorial services can be planned. In most cases, organ, tissue, and eye donation does not interfere with an open casket viewing. Before moving forward with a procedure we provide information to families and answer their questions to ensure we fully understand their wishes. The recovery of organs, tissues, and eyes is performed by qualified surgeons and recovery staff in a sterile environment. As in any other surgical procedure, the body is treated with the utmost respect and care
MYTH: Organs for transplant can be bought and sold on the black market.
FACT: Unlike some third world countries where an individual can sell one of his/her kidneys for transplant, the selling or buying of organs for transplant is illegal in the United States.