The myths and misconceptions about being an organ donor

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(May 7th, 2015)-  For the Ashurst family, registering as organ donors is personal. Mom Carol signed up after her husband received a kidney.

“It gave my husband several more years to live with his kidney,” said Carol Ashurst. “If he hadn’t had it he wouldn’t have made it.”

Many myths prevent people from signing up.

“If I’m on the verge of death and organs are needed are they really going to try and save me or do they want to save the organs,” questioned Yvonne Kenney.

The belief that hospitals don’t work as hard on potential donors is totally false according to transplant experts.

“If you’re in an accident, the first things is they’re going to save your life, not look for your organ donor designation on your license,” said Howard Nathan, President and CEO of the Gift of Life Donor Program.

Other misconceptions include the idea that organ donation is against one’s religion.  In truth, organ donation is consistent with most major religions.  Another is the belief that one is too old to donate.

There’s no defined cutoff for donating organs.

“We’ve used organs from people up to age 85. Don’t rule yourself out,” says Nathan.

Robert Klein was among those who fought he was too old.

“Would someone still want my eyeballs or my pancreas? I don’t know.”

Every day an average of 79 people receive organ transplants, but close to 21 people die each day waiting for transplants.

 

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