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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Organ donors Reply with quote

I had a conversation with my friend the other day regarding this subject. I joined the organ donor register recently and wanted to know other people's opinions on the matter. My friend is not an organ donor and doesn't think she ever will be. When I respectfully queried her decision she said "I just like my organs where they are, and I don't like the idea of being cut up as soon as I've passed away". I can definitely understand this. It's not a happy topic, but I wondered about you guys.

For me it's about helping someone after I have no more use for my organs. My Mum and Dad are both donors and once they die I'll be one of the people who has to deal with the donation. This doesn't bother me. On a selfish note the thought of saving a life will alleviate the grief somewhat. With regards to my own organs, I'll not be using them anymore and so long as it won't cause my family any extra grief I can't find a reason not to.

So what about you guys? We're quite a varied bunch on here. Are you an organ donor? If so, why? If not, why not?
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am.

I understand people's aversion to organ donation--the idea of being cut up is pretty creepy. It used to put me off a lot.

Back before I got my driver's license (because here you can sign up to be an organ doner when you get your license) I did a lot of thinking, and came to a few conclusions. I'm not going to be using my organs once I'm dead, so what's the point of keeping them? And if other people can use them, then why should I not give them away? The idea conforms to a belief system that has been drilled into me since before I could walk--You give what you can to those around you. If I have a body that work well, and I no longer need it, it's logical to give what can be used to someone else.

Besides which, I want to be cremated, so it's a little silly to hang on to my organs after I'm dead.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am as well.

It won't hurt -- I'll be dead! -- and if I can help somebody out with new corneas or kidneys or whatever, I'm happy to.

One of the most touching news stories I ever read was an essay by a doctor recounting the death of a child. She had died of some kind of brain disorder. When he told her parents, they were crushed, of course. But after a few minutes, the husband looked at his wife and said, "We couldn't save our daughter. But there are other parents out there just as desperate to save their kids -- and we can help them." So they offered their daughter's organs, and saved several other children.

I was tremendously impressed by the courage and selflessness it took to look beyond their own suffering in that moment. The death of your child is, by definition, the single worst day a parent can possibly have. Even your own death can't be worse; at least it's over then, and you can't suffer any more. To be able to put aside your own grief and steel yourself to permitting the harvesting -- with the fairly gruesome procedures that implies -- must take incredible willpower, particularly when it's undertaken for the benefit of strangers you've never even seen.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am.

I don't think I can offer much more than what has already been said, though. If I have some means to help people, I should follow those means - in life or in death. I suppose there may be some religious thing against the harvesting of organs, wholeness of the body and whatnot, but I think that helping your fellow man should trump that.

I'm also a registered bone marrow donor, which they can harvest about any time.
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Maeniel



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am.

If my organs can safely be used by somebody else, I would give everything once I'm dead. I'm probably going to be cremated anyways - might as well save a part of me. Smile
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Nem



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm not. I don't value life. I value cleverness and innovation and determination and things like that. Which most people seem to act as a sort of drag factor upon since so much has to be tailored to allow them to appreciate it.

It's very likely that I'd save someone I think the people I consider worth something would be better off without. Resulting in a loss for the side of humanity I like.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not.

Judaism values the sanctity of the dead, which means we go to incredible lengths to bury the entire body at once, in one grave. (incidentally, this also means no cremation) So on that basis, organ donation wouldn't be allowed, and that's currently my reason for refraining. However, I think that there have been some new discussions among the Jewish legal elite in recent years about which circumstances would allow organ donation, in very specific circumstances. I haven't decided whether I'm going to change my status or not. I'd have to do some research on whether it's permitted, and whether it would be permitted for me, but at the moment I'm playing it safe.

I admire and commend everyone who IS on the list, though. It's a tremendous service.
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm impressed with the amount of us that are donors, and I understand those that are not (thanks Asa, I was wondering what the view from Judaism was). I guess it's a matter of what you believe here, for example as Nu says it's logical to give your organs up for others, the only thing stopping us is what we believe will happen to them afterwards or what impact that will have on our souls. I'm not sure what the christian view is, but since I was raised less on religion and more on doing what I perceive to be the right thing I've volunteered my organs. Nem has a different view of it here since he won't have any control over who gets his organs. To me, this doesn't matter, but then I'm an optimist. Nem is rather more cynical than I, I suspect (correct me if I'm wrong!)
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think we could count Nem as an optimist. Afraid that won't be happening any time soon. XD

Re: Christian views. Whereas there's a primary, centralized body of thought in Judaism, Christianity is almost the opposite. Depending on which sect you spoke of, even depending on which church you went to, the answer may be very different. On the whole, though, I don't think that the sanctity of the dead is something a lot of Christians hold too closely too. I may be wrong, but that's not the impression I was raised with. Then again, I was young. I may have missed it.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Christian Views: As Tenshi says, it might possibly vary depending on denominational views, but I'm going to give a biblical-based answer, so I don't think anyone would contest it (it's hard to tell though, exegesis is rampant in some denominations. WBC, anyone?).

Christianity doesn't focus much on the physical. Most of the doctrine pertains to spiritual cleansing. It is acknowledged that some physical actions will have a spiritual effect, and if that effect is negative, it should be avoided. We're taught to take care of our bodies, but apart from that, the New Testament isn't really concerned with them. This is part of the reason that Christianity doesn't have unclean animals like Judaism. We just don't really see it as important--it's the mind and the heart/spirit/soul/whatever that is important, and what you put into those that is as well. So, on a purely physical level, Christianity wouldn't have a bone to pick with organ donations.

Christianity also teaches that true religion doesn't lie in rituals, but in serving others, and helping those who are less fortunate than oneself. It's a big "you'd-better-or-else" thing in Christianity--if you are blessed with wealth or whatever, you don't horde it, you turn around and give it to others. C.S. Lewis said that based on biblical examples and commands, Christians are technically supposed to give to the point of poverty. So, in this way organ donations are also supported by Christianity. You don't need it, others do--so give it away.


Forgive me if this is a bit mangled--I'm not a theologian and I'm terrible at explaining things. This is just how I see it from the point of view of my religion. This isn't necessarily the view of all Christians, and perhaps I'm missing something biblically--but I honestly think and believe that organ donations are biblically supported from what I've read and heard.
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Tyris



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can say for sure that Quakers, who are fairly "do exactly as God tells you," don't mind cremation, so probably don't mind organ donation either.

Personsally, we don't give a flying fish either way. After we're dead, we will no longer have any experience of the world (or anything else, nor will exist at all), so won't be capable of caring whether the gubbins formerly in our bitz box are being useful or not, and thus by extension we don't care now. Two to one, anyway. We have, however, signed up regardless, because it smooths interaction with donor-recruiters. When asked "are you an organ donor?" by someone with a fake smile and a pen, it is far easier and faster to tell them "yes, now sod off" and flash the card than to try to tell them "no, and sod off" because they don't take the hint.
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Violabelle



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On behalf of the medical field I'll thank everyone who is a donor. The children and adults who receive organs have literally had their lives saved.

In response to Nem, I'd just point out that in this country, there is such a shortage of organs of all types that the recipients have to go through very vigorous psychological, emotional, and financial analysis (have a donated organ means taking expensive medications for the rest of your life, and they have to be plugged into the system adequately). There is zero interest in giving an organ to someone who would waste it. A lung recipient cannot smoke, and a liver recipient cannot drink excessively, for example. There are simply not enough organs to go around.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondered if this topic might bring Viola out of the woodwork ^__^
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vbelle! ^_^ Now this is interesting. Does the difference in health services influence our decisions? Over here in the UK we have a screening process in terms of psychological and physical fitness, but financially it doesn't make a difference. On the NHS the medication needed would be free, so if anything the fitness of a patient is judged more on whether they deserve it than whether they can afford it.

In terms of religion, I know a great many Christian families who have their relatives cremated (my Mum is a church warden, so I get to hear of a lot of funerals) so I didn't think that the sanctity of the body weighed so heavy as the state of the soul. Both my parents are donors and when I consulted with them about becoming a donor myself they said how proud they were that I'd made the decision on my own.

To me, it's less important to conform to a list of conditions set down by a deity I'm not even sure exists than to do something which might help someone else.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allicat wrote:
To me, it's less important to conform to a list of conditions set down by a deity I'm not even sure exists than to do something which might help someone else.


This statement makes the long time deist in me very happy.

Violabelle wrote:
In response to Nem, I'd just point out that in this country, there is such a shortage of organs of all types that the recipients have to go through very vigorous psychological, emotional, and financial analysis...


See, Nem, this just means one thing. You have to kick the bucket in the 'States. Wink
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