Many myths exist regarding organ, eye and tissue donation. These myths may have been perpetuated by a lack of awareness, false claims or fears about what you “hear on the street” or see in local and social media.
We surveyed staff driver license office staff to gauge what the main barriers are to sign up to be a registered donor.. Through this research we were able to identify five reasons why people do not say Yes and designate themselves as organ, eye and tissue donors. Check out the myths about organ, eye and tissue donation, and then learn the facts.
Mythbusting 5 Reasons You Think You Shouldn’t Register as a Donor
1. “I just haven’t thought about it.”
Research shows that many people do not sign up to be organ, eye and tissue donors because they “just haven’t gotten around to it.” What if everyone took a moment to think about the impact they could have on one or more lives?
2. “I always thought my family would decide.”
It’s normal for people to think this is a “family” decision, and many leave it up to their family members. However, donor family members have told us that having conversations with their loved ones regarding their decision to be a donor, helped alleviate the burden of them having to make the decision on their loved one’s behalf during a time of great grief and loss.
3. “I have diabetes. I didn’t realize I could still donate.”
Unless you have had active cancer in the past year, it is possible that you can still be a donor and give the gift of life.. Many organ recipients have even been donors themselves. So don’t rule yourself out!
4. “I’ve been too busy to sign up.”
In this day and age, making end of life decisions may not be top of mind. That’s why Donate Life Colorado / Wyoming works hard to put this important message in front of our community. Think about it, talk about it and take action to designate your decision.
5. “I didn’t think I could donate at my age.”
People rule themselves out as potential donors, due to health or age restrictions. But each person is evaluated at the time of their death by a medical professional and deemed an eligible donor or not.
Download our Myths & Facts brochure to share with your friends and family.
Other Myths & Facts About Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation
Myth: There are certain things that can keep me from being an organ donor such as age, illness or physical defects.
Fact: Each person’s medical condition is evaluated at the time of death to determine what organs and tissues are viable for donation. Even people living with chronic diseases or those who have a history of cancer are encouraged to join the donor registry.
Myth: If doctors know I’m registered to be an organ or tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save my life.
Fact: The first priority of a medical professional is to save lives when sick or injured people come to the hospital. Organ and tissue donation isn’t even considered or discussed until after death is declared. In fact, doctors and nurses involved in a person’s care before death are not involved in the recovery or transplantation of donated corneas, organs or tissues.
Myth: If you are rich or a celebrity, you can move up the waiting list more quickly.
Fact: Severity of illness, time spent waiting, blood type and match potential are the factors that determine your place on the waiting list. A patient’s income, race and social status are never taken into account in the allocation process.
Myth: After donating an organ or tissue, a closed casket funeral is the only option.
Fact: Our organ recovery organization, Donor Alliance, treats each heroic donor with the utmost respect and dignity, allowing a donor’s body to be viewed in an open casket funeral.
Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.
Fact: Costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant are never passed on to the donor family. The family may be expected to pay for medical expenses incurred before death is declared and for expenses involving funeral arrangements.
*There are other factors that can rule you out, but that will be determined by a medical professional at the time of your death.