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Organ donation - a step too far?

(76 Posts)
Chestnut Wed 20-May-20 09:33:56

Under new legislation from today everyone in England will be deemed to have given consent for their organs to be donated when they die – unless they specifically opt out or are in an excluded group.

Surely this could be very distressing for the deceased's family who might not want their loved one hacked up but will apparently have no say in the matter now.

midgey Wed 20-May-20 09:36:50

What could be a better legacy than to have helped someone else? It would have given me huge comfort, a life not wasted.

Chestnut Wed 20-May-20 09:40:26

So your life has been wasted unless you give an organ to someone else?

Smileless2012 Wed 20-May-20 09:43:24

I was under the impression that next of kin would still need to give their consent, just as they do now if a relative is carrying a donor card.

midgey Wed 20-May-20 09:43:25

Of course not! Not what meant at all, but should a person die unexpectedly or in an accident perhaps some good could come out of such a terrible thing.

Froglady Wed 20-May-20 09:44:46

Why should the family have a say in this matter if the person has given their consent? I have had a donor card for the past 20 plus years and always carry it with me. My sister and family are aware of my card. I received a new one in the post yesterday and was so pleased to see that family have no say. It would defeat the object if they could override what their family member wanted. It just needs the medical profession to be brave and carry out the wished of the patient.

Witzend Wed 20-May-20 09:46:39

Personally I have no objections.
People are fully entitled to opt out, but in that case I think they should not themselves be eligible to receive anyone else’s organs.

As for relatives wanting to refuse when the person themselves has not expressed any objection, I really don’t think it’s their choice to make.

CherryCezzy Wed 20-May-20 09:49:45

That's how it works in Wales Smileless. I opted out as my brain is being donated to a specific hospital and this wouldn't be able to happen if I didn't opt out.

MawB Wed 20-May-20 09:51:22

Chestnut - I take violent exception to your use of the term hacked up for the harvesting of organs.
From personal experience I have seen the respect, care and tenderness shown to patients in ICU who, having been certified “brain dead” will have the organs they have opted to donate surgically removed to save the lives of others
The operations are delicate and undertaken with TG greatest care and professionalism.
We do not need your type of sensationalist turn of phrase, worthy of the Sun at its worst.
My DH’s life was saved by a transplant and he was blessed with very nearly 20 years in which he saw our 3 daughters married and the arrival of 4 of our 5 grandchildren.
So less of the hacked up please 😡😡😡😡😡

GrannyLaine Wed 20-May-20 09:52:44

When I first heard that this was being proposed, I was concerned about the ethical issue of consent being assumed unless someone has opted out and it still concerns me.
I believe the change was made to try to spare relatives the situation of being approached about organ donation after the death of a loved one.
"Hacked up" is maybe an unfortunate phrase to use though.

GrannyLaine Wed 20-May-20 09:56:22

@MawB - so glad Paw's transplant gave him the gift of all those years flowers

Wibby Wed 20-May-20 09:59:21

For those who wish to opt out

Izabella Wed 20-May-20 09:59:53

Lovely post Mawb. I agree with the respect aspect of your post. I have worked in the area of renal transplantation, so also have first hand experience of the situation.

Esspee Wed 20-May-20 10:12:27

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to opt out, far less understand why relatives would want to go against the wishes of the deceased.
Should you ever need a transplant can I assume you would refuse any organ offered?
Actually I’d go farther than that. Anyone who opts out should not be allowed to have a transplant.
The gift of life is a beautiful legacy.

annodomini Wed 20-May-20 10:16:51

I don't suppose my ageing organs will be of much use, but I've carried a card since they were introduced and joined the register on its inception. My family are all on the register too so they would have no objection if some small part of me could be used.

henetha Wed 20-May-20 10:17:46

Organ donation can only be a good thing to do, surely?
Peoples lives are saved by it. I've carried a card since day one.

MiniMoon Wed 20-May-20 10:22:30

I carry a donor card too. I joined up when the DVLA asked, when I needed to replace my driving licence.
My husband lost a brother to kidney disease at age 25. Organ donation was in its infancy then.

Calendargirl Wed 20-May-20 10:46:18

But all these organs are either burned or buried if not used. What is the good of that?

PamelaJ1 Wed 20-May-20 10:50:55

I’m another who thinks that organ donation is a nobrainer.
Why wouldn’t you?

There are some religions that frown upon it but if that isn’t the case then I would be happy for mine or my loved ones to be used.
Maybe happy isn’t the right word to use because it would indicate a sad time for one family but you know what I mean.

If you have a problem then fill in a form.
I would hope that those who do want to donate would tell their family so that they know the decision has been made.

Chestnut Wed 20-May-20 10:53:13

MawB - sorry if you were offended, I am only playing devil's advocate here and indicating how some people might feel about the removal of their loved one's organs. It is not my personal opinion. I know there is respect and care shown in surgery, of course there is. But we all have feelings and I'm sure some people cannot cope with the idea of their loved ones' organs being removed.

lemongrove Wed 20-May-20 10:55:08

You can opt out, and even if you don’t, your family will still be consulted.Most will agree I think, for organ removal to go ahead.It’s a dilemma isn’t it, but if we are happy to receive an organ, then we should also be prepared to give one.
Although, for most of us here, who would want our clapped out organs?

Tangerine Wed 20-May-20 10:57:10

I am pleased about the new legislation and have carried a donor card for years.

MawB Wed 20-May-20 10:57:29

Chestnut by all means feel free to play devil’s advocate, but your choice of words was your own.
I and many others have every right to take exception to your inflammatory and ill- considered turn of phrase which could add additional distress to those who may be about to lose a loved one.
Think first before going for the “sound bite”.

25Avalon Wed 20-May-20 10:58:42

MawB well written. Surely it is up to the donor’s wishes rather than the relatives just as it is in a will. The only problem I see is if people are not aware of the changes in the law and end up being a donor against their wishes.

MawB Wed 20-May-20 11:00:09

25Avalon - too late for them to “find out”!!