Addressing concerns and dispelling myths about organ donation

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April is National Gift of Life Month. This annual observance raises awareness of giving, encourages people to register as donors, and honors those who have saved lives through the gift of giving.

More than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants. And an estimated 20 patients die every day in the United States due to a lack of organ donors.

Have you thought about becoming a donor?

If you have never considered organ donation or have been delaying becoming a donor due to possibly inaccurate information, here are answers to some common organ donation myths and concerns:

Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, my healthcare team won’t work as hard to save my life.

Reality: When you go to the hospital for treatment, your healthcare team is focused on your life, not someone else’s.

Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.

Reality: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions, including Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism, and most Protestant religions.

Myth: I’m under 18, so I’m too young to make this decision.

Fact: Many states allow people under the age of 18 to register as organ donors, but your parents or legal guardian will make the final decision. Discuss your wish to become an organ donor with your family members and ask for their consent. Keep in mind that children also need organ transplants and usually need smaller organs than an adult can provide.

Myth: I’m too old to donate. No one would want my organs.

Fact: There is no set age limit for organ donation. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Do not disqualify yourself prematurely. Let your healthcare team decide when you die if your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.

Myth: I am not in excellent health. No one would want my organs or my tissues.

Fact: Few medical conditions automatically prevent you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. Some organs may not be suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be suitable. Do not disqualify yourself prematurely. Your health care team can determine if your organs are suitable for transplant when you die.

Myth: The rich and famous are at the top of the list when they need a donor organ.

Reality: The rich and famous don’t get priority when it comes to organ allocation. It may seem so due to the amount of publicity generated when a celebrity receives a transplant, but they are treated no differently than others. The reality is that fame and financial status are not factored into organ allocation.


5 reasons to consider becoming an organ donor


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Quote: Consumer Health: Addressing Concerns and Dispelling Myths About Organ Donation (April 14, 2022) Retrieved May 21, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-04-consumer-health-dispelling-myths -donation.html

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