New York Times article highlights transplant donor and recipients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital
UK NHS Organ Donation Checkbox
As organ transplantation has advanced and improved in recent decades, more and more patients’ lives are saved every year. But the most pressing problem in organ transplantation has yet to be solved: the shortage of donor organs available to the thousands of people waiting on lists for a new kidney, liver, lung, heart, or other organ. People who intend to donate may not indicate their wishes to family members before their death, or families are reluctant to make that decision in the midst of profound grief and loss. For others, donating an organ was just never something they knew much about or even considered.
When they do choose to donate a loved one’s organs, families usually remain anonymous, as do those whose lives they save. Perhaps that is why articles like the one in the New York Times on May 16, 2011, touch and inspire readers so deeply. This version of an increasingly common story captures the essential soul-searching, as well as the profound gratitude, hope, and solace, that marked the meeting of Mirtala Garcia and the people who received her husband’s organs. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*
I was reminded that April is National Donor Month by a post over at Donorcycle. I am a strong organ donation advocate. My driver’s license is signed. My family has been informed of my wishes.
It is a point of a contention in my family, hopefully a small one that will be resolved (or never come up for real). My niece, K, who is in nursing school has signed her driver’s license to be an organ donor. Her mother, my sister, J, will not give her permission if asked – not readily anyway. “I don’t want my baby cut up.” That is her reason.
My niece, K, is a giving soul. Her wishes should be honored. She should be allowed to make that last gift if the time ever arises.
I need to find a way to reassure my sister that we don’t “butcher” the body when donor organs are harvested. I need to get her to read Dr Cris’ blog post “Organ Donation from the Inside”
Transplant surgeons care about donors. Staff respect them, and the decision they have made. Their job in this case is to implement the wishes of the donor and not waste their sacrifice. …… I have assisted at an organ retrieval for transplant, and that is why I am on the Organ Donor Register
Another of my sisters recently was widowed when her husband died of heart failure. He had had many heart attacks over the last several years. In the end, he was told he needed a heart transplant. He didn’t live long enough, but I use this to show that the need it there. The need is great. If we would be receivers of the organs, then we need to be givers when able.
**This blog post was originally published at Suture For A Living.**