Myths and Misconceptions
Some people make the decision not to become donors because of incorrect or misleading information they have seen, heard or read. We want to be sure your decision is based on fact, not myth.
- If I am in an accident, and the hospital knows I want to be a donor, they will withhold treatment and not attempt to save my life.
- I worry they’ll take out my organs before I’m dead.
- Only famous or wealthy people get organ transplants.
- My religion does not support organ, tissue and eye donation.
- I can’t be a donor because I want an open casket funeral.
- Donation will be costly to my family.
- No one will want my organs because of my medical history. Besides, I’m too old to be a donor.
- If I donate my loved one’s organs, tissue and eyes, the recipients will know who I am.
FACT: Medical professionals will do EVERYTHING they can to save your life. The doctors who work to save your life are not the same doctors involved with donation. It is only after every attempt has been made to save your life that donation will be considered. In fact, from a medical standpoint, patients must receive the most aggressive life-saving care in order to be potential organ, tissue and eye donors.
FACT: Organ, tissue and eye donation follows the declaration of death by a doctor not involved in transplantation. In Florida, two licensed physicians must make the diagnosis of brain death before the potential donor’s family is consulted regarding organ donation.
FACT: The United Network for Organ Sharing monitors the national transplant waiting list, which contains specific medical criteria for each patient in need. Criteria include height, weight and blood group. Priority depends on medical factors, including urgency of need, length of time on the waiting list, blood type and organ size compatibility. Factors such as race, gender, income or celebrity status are never considered when determining who receives an organ.
FACT: All major eastern and western religions either fully endorse donation as an act of human benevolence in keeping with religious doctrine, or leave the decision up to the individual. No major religion opposes organ, tissue and eye donation. If you have questions regarding your faith’s position on organ, tissue and eye donation, we encourage you to consult with your religious leader.
FACT: The organ donation operation is done under surgical, sterile conditions in an operating room. The body will be treated with respect and reverence. The donation of organs, tissue or eyes will not disfigure the body or interfere with an open casket funeral should you desire one.
FACT: Costs related to organ, tissue and eye donation will be covered by the donor programs. You will not be financially responsible for any aspect of the donation process. However, medical care up to the point of donation, funeral arrangements and costs remain the responsibility of the relatives or persons in charge of the estate.
FACT: Everyone, regardless of their age or medical condition, is urged to join the Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. At the time of death, medical professionals will determine a person’s eligibility to become an organ, tissue and eye donor. Even cancer patients can potentially donate, and there are cases of organ donors in their mid-seventies and older.
FACT: The identity of all parties is kept confidential. The donor family and the transplant recipient may receive such information as age, sex and state of residence. Individually, the recipient may be told the circumstances of death, and the donor’s family may be informed of the transplants that were performed. They may also receive feedback on how the recipient’s health status has improved. The donation agencies facilitate correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient.