Pros and Cons of Being an Organ Donor

The obvious pro of being an organ donor is that your death can help others live.  I have no problem with this and believe it is a good thing.  I myself would be willing to donate my organs upon my death, but having contracted hepatitis A from a co-worker over thirty years ago means I cannot donate organs or blood.

Many years ago, our state started putting an organ donor box on everyone’s driver’s license.  If the box was checked, any emergency personnel tending to someone that died or was near death would know that you wished to donate your organs.  Everyone I knew thought that this was a great idea. Or should I say almost everyone.

Before I contracted the hepatitis A, a physician I knew shocked me when he told me to never check the organ donor box.  He explained that some doctors are so geared to organ harvesting and donations that they may not always do everything in their power to save someone that could possibly be saved.  There may be a hasty tendency to prematurely declare someone dead just so they can get the organs while they are still fresh.  I remember asking how often that occurs and he said not too often, but would I want to be one of those few.  After thinking about it for a bit, I decided the next time I renewed my driver’s license, I would leave the organ donor box unchecked, but made sure my wife and family knew that I had no problems yielding up my organs once I was really dead.

All of this was brought to mind when I read the account of Stephen Thorpe from Leicester, England.

When Stephen was seventeen, he was involved in a car crash that killed the driver who was a friend of his.  A team of four doctors worked on Stephen who was severely injured and placed him into a medically induced coma.  Once in the coma, the four doctors all told Stephen’s dad that his son would never recover from his injuries and that for all intent and purpose he was dead.  They immediately asked permission to harvest Stephen’s organs for transplants into others.

Not wanting to give up on his son, Stephen’s father brought in a neurologist and a general practitioner to examine the teenager.  Both of these doctors determined that Stephen still had brain wave activity and that he was not brain dead.  With the father’s consent, they brought Stephen out of the induced coma and began aggressively treating him.  Five weeks later, Stephen had nearly recovered from all of his injuries and left the hospital.  Today, Stephen is twenty-one years old and is attending college where he is studying accounting.

According to LifeSiteNews.com, Stephen Thorpe’s case is not as isolated as you may want to believe.  Their site lists a number of cases where doctors have declared someone to be brain dead and wanting to harvest their organs only to have the patient recover partially or fully and continue living.  You can read one after another by visiting their site.

This raises the issue of what exactly does ‘brain death’ mean medically, not politically?

For centuries, a person was considered to be dead when no heart beat could be felt and no respiration could be detected.  Then medical science made a huge leap in the 1960s when they started transplanting organs from a dead person into someone in dire need of one.  The medical field needed some way to define a person to be dead, so they keyed on the presence of brain wave activity that could be detected on a monitor.  In 1968, the term ‘brain death’ was formally introduced and has been used ever since.

Ironically, there has been very little research into brain death nor has there been any industry wide standard to define it.  One doctor who serves as medical advisor for LifeSiteNews, Dr John Shea, says that it is not uncommon for someone to be declared brain dead and still have some brain function.  Shea says that the monitoring used to determine brain death only,

“Test for the absence of some specific brain reflexes. Functions of the brain that are not considered are temperature control, blood pressure, cardiac rate and salt and water balance. When a patient is declared brain dead, these functions are not only still present, but also frequently active.”

If you have a loved one that is declared brain dead, insist that a more comprehensive brain test be conducted before you let the vultures in to scavenge up the desired organs.  If the attending doctors refuse or say they do not have the equipment, then I would call a neurologist or some other doctor to get a second opinion.

Again, please note that I am not against being an organ donor, but the next time you renew your driver’s license you may want to think twice before checking the organ donor box.  If you do want to be an organ donor, make sure you let your family and friends know and even put it in writing with instructions that the doctors are not to know this until everyone is certain that you are really dead.  Then and only then let the harvest begin.


  • PMDavis

    As always, it seems that everything is motivated by money and greed.

  • clayne

    I am an organ donor. I gave a kidney to my sister and I can tell you no reputable physician or hospital would try to harvest organs from someone who still had a chance at life. That incident was in England, not here in the U.S. When I was being tested, the transplant people gave me the worst case scenario so I would have all the information to make the decision. Being an organ donor is a great blessing.

    • Flowers

      Unfortunately with the onset of obama's governmental health care insurance we will have the same lack of care that England has and may be subjected to the same type of treatment.

    • rivahmitch

      I'd certainly agree that donating an organ to a member of your family or someone else you care about is a good thing to do. However, with blanket "organ donation" there's a philosophical issue with which I have a major problem. Frankly, my body belongs to me and seems, at this moment, to be the only thing that the government isn't trying to steal (although the move in some states to require "opting out" of rather than "opting in" to organ donation is a big step in that direction). Since my body does belong to me, I, rather than any committee, should be able to direct its disposition. As in my wil, I can specifically deny or grant a legacy of property to those I wish, I should have a similar right with the only thing which is incontestably my own. Lacking such an ability, beyond giving some specific instructions to my family, I opt for cremation as an absolute assertion of my self-ownership.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=611706871 David Clark

    Thinking of the Monty Python routine.."I'm not dead yet!"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFXGwHsD_A

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BX23PSBVNKZBEOCXROD4555EFQ Ken

    At a Judiciary Committee hearing on April 3, 2008 Sen. Patrick Leahy(D-VT) asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, himself a former Federal judge, if he had doubts that McCain was eligible to serve as President.

    "My assumption and my understanding is that if you are born of American parents, you are naturally a natural-born American citizen," Chertoff replied.

    "That is mine, too," said Leahy.
    Obama is a co-signer of this resolution. So, I guess he too agrees that one needs two American parents to be eligible for POTUS.

  • jaws4316

    Seems like the majority of cases where Doctors get in a hurry to harvest organs are happening in countries with socialized medicine. Another good reason to repeal Obamacare.

  • JennieWalsh

    WARNING!!! Do NOT seek medical help under Obamacare! The whole system is nothing more than a HUGE, organized crime RACKETEERING RIP-OFF SCAM! The Satanic criminals in congress and Satanic bureaucrats set up the system to rake in billion$ and to dole out, relatively speaking, nickels, dimes and pennies to the so-call "beneficiaries". If the RACKETEERS do not get their expected "due", they will lighten the load of "beneficiaries" through murder. They have a very well stocked arsenal of biological murder weapons that make death look like "natural causes". Bacteria, parasites, spirochetes, viruses, poisons, dangerous drugs etc. make up their arsenal. Their fellow RACKETEERS/ORGANIZED CRIMINALS/SECRET SERVANTS OF SATAN acting as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, coroners, morticians, judges, lawyers, health care professionals, news reporters will assist in covering up the murders. They are also very expert at "suicides" and "accidents". These organized criminals attend secret seminars, meetings, classes, retreats to learn efficient ways of murder, theft, bribery, extortion, and every conceivable criminal method of operation. They secretly call themselves "Us" and "Satan Worshippers". They have remote viewer satellite surveillance equipment that can watch anyone, anywhere, anytime and can tell if you have pain, nausea, itching, can can even diagnose diseases etc. and can analyze your emotions. They especially watch for fear, because through fear, they know your weak points and how they can "get you". They have evil honed to an art and a science. This is NO JOKE.
    The Satanists get control of nations through communist/socialist/economic dictatorship/dole out programs to get people dependent on them so as to grow their own power and wealth. I hope people will soon wake up and wise up to recognize the "wolves in sheep's clothing" who do great evil while pretending to "do good".
    Ron Paul has a 100% constitutional voting record. If America had been following the constitution since 1812, the criminals would not have been able to steal, plunder, corrupt and destroy throughout America and EVERY AMERICAN WOULD BE LIVING THE LIFESTYLE OF A MULTIMILLIONAIRE AND HEALTHCARE, COLLEGE EDUCATION, CAR PURCHASES, RETIREMENT, HOME BUYING WOULD NOT BE PROBLEMS IN THE LEAST. EVERYONE WOULD BE ABLE TO PAY CASH FOR EVERYTHING. THE BANKSTER-GANGSTERS/KINGDOM OF SATAN/GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH THEIR CURRENT MONEY MANIPULATIONS, RIP-OFFS AND SCAMS.
    The above article is another example of profiteering from the misfortunes of others. Organ selling is big business, secretly. I am not an organ donor.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BX23PSBVNKZBEOCXROD4555EFQ Ken

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BX23PSBVNKZBEOCXROD4555EFQ Ken

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." ~~~George Washington

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NLORN6B3ZNGCAJTFHWWFUUEY4Q jong

    Of course if Obama had his way you would get no choice check Obamacare and what they are allowed to do with out your permission.

  • americanamama

    When my mother-in-law passed away, the doctor asked her husband if he would agree to having her corneas donated. Little did anyone in the family know what would follow! After we went back to their house to discuss funeral arrangements and to settle financial affairs, the organ donor service called to ask my father-in-law a bunch of questions about her health. Things like medications she had been on and surgeries she had had were expected, but then the phone interview took a disgusting turn. My sister-in-law had to take the phone from her father because he was too upset at the line of questioning. She was asked how many sexual partners and of what gender her mother had had, if she was gay, if she had aids, and all other extremely off the wall and personal things. We are talking about an 85 year-old, straight as an arrow, faithful, wife from the old school. My father-in-law wanted to say just forget about the donating, but the corneas had already been harvested within an hour of her passing, so the donor service aggressively pursued their inquiry. Not only were these questions insensitive and upsetting, but we later learned that the information the family provided was the only determination used to decide if the organ or tissues were healthy and suitable to be used in another person. The organ or tissue recipient might think that the donor's parts are going to be safe in his/her body and that they have been tested more than just by blood type. No, they are not. Someone who receives a donated part may also be acquiring a disease. My family knew that Mom had not been involved in any risky behaviors, but how many other people might not know all the situations that their departed loved one may have participated in? Almost every family member who was there that day swore off being a donor and vowed to tell everyone we knew what the family could expect if a loved one became a donor.

  • macusry

    where are my comments?

  • macusry

    where are my comments?

  • macusry

    I attempted to post comments about my husband's comma and the lousy experience we had withal neurologists and nurses. Once they make up their minds about a patient not much evidence can change their views. They all stick together like glue.

  • truth teller

    The medical establishment makes big money on your dead loved ones body parts. It isn't there's to make money from. They don't own us, even though they think they do!!! This is sick!!! The medical establishment is just about money and power.