Thursday, June 5, 2008

This is why I am not an organ donor

As much as I love to help others, even with body parts, so far I have never ever felt inclined to offer my organs after my "death" for fear that my organs may be snatched before I am actually dead!

Please read this article that I found over at Catholic Exchange which is an article courtesy of

"A Virginia family was shocked but relieved when their mother, Val Thomas, woke up after doctors said she was dead. 59 year-old Mrs. Thomas, while being kept breathing artificially, had no detectable brain waves for more than 17 hours. The family were discussing organ donation options for their mother when she suddenly woke up and started speaking to nurses. Ethicists have strongly criticised developments in organ donation criteria that would have made Mrs. Thomas a candidate for having her organs removed before she woke up.

At 1:30 am Saturday May 17, Mrs. Thomas’ heart had stopped beating and she had no pulse when the family called paramedics. She was without a heartbeat or oxygen for 15to 20 minutes before being put on a ventilator and transported to a Charleston, West Virginia hospital.

An attempt was made to lower her body temperature but her heart stopped three times causing doctors to estimate that her chance of survival was less than 10 per cent. The ventilator was kept running for nearly 18 hours and rigor mortis had set in while Mrs. Thomas’ family considered organ donation. The decision was taken to discontinue life support but ten minutes into the process, Mrs. Thomas moved her arm and began speaking to nurses...." (Continued here.)


daveundis said...

If you're not willing to donate your organs, you shouldn't be willing to accept an organ transplant.

About 50% of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list if they need a transplant we'll always have an organ shortage.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has 11,000 members,

TRex said...

For 2005, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there were:

Number of deaths: 2,448,017

Death rate: 825.9 deaths per 100,000 population.

Your isolated incident is not indicative of normal end of life issues where organ donation would be concerned. Deciding not to donate is personal, but to use a single incident to influence other potential donors with misinformation is not responsible.

btw: I am able to write this because I received a liver transplant from a person who cared enough to be a donor and share her gift of life.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Hello, to the two of you who have responded to my post expressing my fear of donating my organs and to all who may read this post - First of all, thank you for writing. Second of all, I even wrote an article about a woman needing a kidney transplant a couple of years ago and it stirred up a lot of interest that helped to get her a kidney, thanks be to God!

I am certainly not professing to have all of the answers! In this post about organ donation, I was merely expressing my own personal concerns about my organs and the danger of having them taken too early if there really is a chance of survival. I am sincerely very happy for all of you out there who have been helped because of another's generous donation of their own bodies. May God bless you all!


imemcee said...

I have worked in healthcare for 20 years. I have dealt with many organ donations, both on the donor side and the recipient side. I must say, I have NEVER thought about whether or not whoever gets the heart,lungs, kidney etc. etc. is an organ donor. What I am thinking about are the families involved on both sides. One family is filled with sadness and the others are filled with joy. The organ procurement teams works hard with the patient and the family, knowing this is probably the most difficult choice they have been confronted with. They do not take their jobs lightly.
And yes, the incident Donna referred to is an isolated incident. However, I do not think she is irresponsible. I took it as her expressing her own feelings. Many tests are done on these donor patients to be certain the correct thing is being done.
Trex, I am happy you are with us today.
God Bless.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Dear "Imemcee,"

Thank you very much for giving us your perspective from the health care field in which you are in.

God bless!

TRex said...


I appreciate your response to my posting. I also appreciate the postings of daveundis and imemcee - kudo's to you both. Today there are almost 100,000 Americans on the ACTIVE waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. I visited with several of these individuals yesterday, here in Houston, where I give back weekly, counseling pretransplant patients as they count the days waiting for their second chance. I also visited with a young woman who was rescued from death with a last minute liver transplant 3-weeks ago. She was discharged today to return home to her waiting husband and 7-year old son. Organ donation made this possible. Please remember, "Organ Donation Gives Life!"