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Organ Donation Part 2: Talk to your family!

After reading the comments on the post I shared yesterday (World Organ Donation Day: Are you registered as an organ donor? Are you SURE?), I thought I’d do a follow-up for those of you who might have missed a key point that was made by some of my readers.

When it comes to the issue of organ donation,
talk to your family about your wishes!


See, I was under the impression that giving consent and being registered with your regional organization was all you needed to do to become an organ donor; however, after some further investigation triggered by those post comments I discovered that this is NOT enough! The next step is to make sure that your family members are aware of your wishes… because, depending on the rules or procedures followed in your region, the final decision as to whether or not you will be an organ donor may ultimately be left up to them.

Did you know this? I didn’t.

Honestly, I can’t say that I particularly like it – or even understand it, quite frankly. The choice as to whether (or not) to be an organ donor should be made by the person in possession of the organs to be (or not to be) donated, shouldn’t it? And one’s decision should be respected regardless of whether or not the family agrees, no?

To say that this issue gets under my skin is a bit of an understatement, actually!

But whether or not I like it, or think it’s fair, that’s apparently the way it is – which makes having that talk with your family all the more important. So that’s what I did today: I talked to each of the members of my immediate family – husband, parents, and sister – and made sure that they’re aware of my wish to be an organ donor.

Now I encourage you to do the same. Hopefully your family will be as supportive of your decision as my family is of mine!

Have you talked to your family about your wishes?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo August 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Sammy D August 21, 2014

    Great posts and information, Laurel.

    I agree with you; family’s ability to override your written consent is absurd.

    Nevertheless you, I and lots of others have done what we can to help should it ever be possible.
    Sammy D recently posted… Pay-per-View? No, Pay-per-VoteMy Profile

  • Shailaja V
    August 21, 2014

    Yes, that’s the case, I hear. My aunt was keen to donate her eyes but since she died of multiple infections, they couldn’t use them. I think that really hurt my uncle.

  • Rena McDaniel
    August 21, 2014

    I agree this is stupid why go to the trouble of filling this out if it’s up to your family. My husband and I have been having this argument for years. I want my organs donated and then cremated he says no way. Hence the argument.
    Rena McDaniel recently posted… I FOUND MY ALZHEIMER’S VOICE!My Profile

  • Kathy Combs August 21, 2014

    I remember when my dad died, he was on life support…and we had them shut the machines off. It is what he would have wanted as there was no hope. He had barely breathed his last when a nurse approached me and asked if we wanted to donate his organs, skin, eyeballs. I was completely taken aback. I told the nurse that he wasn’t an organ donor. It is not what he wanted…and she persisted saying that ultimately it was up to my sister and I. I said absolutely not. If he didn’t want it himself, it wasn’t up to us to go against his wishes.
    Kathy Combs recently posted… Bones HaikuMy Profile

  • nabanita
    August 22, 2014

    I think in my country the awareness is missing and writing about it could bring it to the forefront and then ofcousre discussing it with the family
    nabanita recently posted… 12 Most Puzzling Acquaintances in LifeMy Profile

  • Obsessivemom
    August 22, 2014

    Thanks for that information Laurel. And no, I didn’t know that. Quite unfair, but that’s the way it is I guess.

  • The Shitastrophy August 22, 2014

    It’s in my will that I prepared with my husband 🙂

  • Dannii August 22, 2014

    I wasn’t aware of that at all.

  • katrina August 22, 2014

    I think it sucks…because even when you explain it doesn’t actually mean at the time they will be capable of making any decisions about it because of their state of mind…I just think if you agree to it that is where it should end…being your decision
    katrina recently posted… How do you know your facebook friends?My Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      August 22, 2014

      I totally agree! To me it seems like you’re doing your loved ones a favour by making the decision ahead of time – taking one thing off their plate at a difficult time.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: ArchitectureMy Profile

  • Judy - Pedagogical Artist August 22, 2014

    Major important post, Laurel. I believe in organ donation and have had a donor’s card in my wallet for over 25 years. I agree, this is one of the difficult conversations we need to have with our families to make our wishes clear. Another is life support. A third is the care we want when we are unable to care for ourselves. Like everything in Life the more we talk about the real issues the easier it is to deal with them. THANKS for creating awareness. HUGS <3

    • Laurel Regan
      August 22, 2014

      There are just so many difficult discussions, aren’t there? But they’re all so important and we need to get past being squeamish about them and have those conversations.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Photo Friday: ArchitectureMy Profile


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