44 answers

Friend's Son Just Received New Kidney Where Do You Stand on Organ Donation?

My friend's 11 month-old son just received a new kidney last night from a young man (18) who was declared brain dead following a car accident on Friday.

This got me thinking - would you consider donating your child's organs? Would you receive comfort knowing that your child helped other children live on, or would the whole thing be too much to handle in the aftermath of a tragedy?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I forgot to add that the hospital asked my friend if she wanted the kidney. She said that some recipients refuse if the donor is not the same religion, etc. I was kind of surprised by that. Are you?

Featured Answers

I was legally blind until I recently received a cornea transplant.
This has been an amazing/emotional experience for me. Because of such a wonderful and generous gift, I can see. I am so fortunate. After my experience, I now plan to be an organ donor myself. I hope that all of you will seriously consider being donors too.

11 moms found this helpful

I never thought of this as being a controversial topic. I would absolutely donate both my and my child's organs.

7 moms found this helpful

If my husband's game, YES, I would give my child's organs to another child in need. They're organs - keeping them doesn't make my child more alive/less dead. Giving them away however, could save several people's lives.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I was legally blind until I recently received a cornea transplant.
This has been an amazing/emotional experience for me. Because of such a wonderful and generous gift, I can see. I am so fortunate. After my experience, I now plan to be an organ donor myself. I hope that all of you will seriously consider being donors too.

11 moms found this helpful

I would rather be able to give another child and another family the gift of life, than have my child's organs "go to waste" if they are no longer going to be of any use to her. I would rather another family give the same consideration to others, since you never know if you or your child or someone else's child that you love could be the one in need of an organ transplant. I don't even have to think about or debate this with myself.

ETA: I certainly would not refuse a donated organ just because they happened to be of a different religion. No disrespect, but that just seems to fly in the face of what God would want for one of His Children. I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason - whether you believe it is the work of God, or karma, or what-have-you is up to you. Perhaps He took another person's life so that someone else would have the chance to live. To refuse that gift because of the religion of the donor just seems ridiculous.

8 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't care as long as the organ was healthy and appropriate for my child.

On the giving end, I would want to spare another family my pain if my child was gone. I never met my first nephew. He died when he was four (the age DD is now) for lack of a donor heart. I cannot imagine that pain. In the end, I feel two people died - my BIL turned to alcohol and ultimately drank himself to death. The family feels he never recovered from his son's death.

I feel the body is a vessel for the soul. If I am gone, let my vessel help someone else.

8 moms found this helpful

Yes, I would, with out hesitation.
I am 150 Million Percent in favor of organ donation.
I am an organ donor, so is my husband, and our child, were she to die (God forbid) under 18 would be an organ donor too.
I hope that when she is old enough to decide for herself she would say the same.
It is HUGELY important, and I think everyone that is viable, should be a registered donor.
And yes, it would give me a lot of comfort to know that I or my family helped someone else, and a part of them was living on in a way.
:)

On your SWH. I am hardly ever surprised by what religion gets people to do anymore...

7 moms found this helpful

I never thought of this as being a controversial topic. I would absolutely donate both my and my child's organs.

7 moms found this helpful

I am a whole body donor. I would if I ever needed to donate my children's organs. I hope that day never comes. I am the recipient of cadaver bone and am thankful for it. I can not for the life of me understand why someone would refuse a donation, especially a life saving donation from another because that person was a different religion. It isn't as if the body part received is going to practice that religion.

6 moms found this helpful

I think it's important to make the decision now, before something happens and you are in that sort of horrible place. Write a letter to yourself and make yourself promise to uphold the choice you make now while things are good and your mind is clear.

I personally believe that if I'm no longer using said organs and they are still good enough to save a life, then so be it. Take 'em. I would want this for my child as well as my husband.

6 moms found this helpful

If my husband's game, YES, I would give my child's organs to another child in need. They're organs - keeping them doesn't make my child more alive/less dead. Giving them away however, could save several people's lives.

6 moms found this helpful

I don't know a single person who wouldn't donate orgrans. Yes, I'd donate my child's organs as well. I don't see this as controversial either...

5 moms found this helpful

I think donation is awesome. I just read a story the other day that brought tears to my eyes; a woman's healthy 16 year old died unexpectedly and she was mourning, grieving, prayed and asked God for a way to let her feel close to him again (a dream or something). The next day, she got a letter from the man who'd received her son's heart asking if he could meet her and thank her in person. His family flew to meet her and she asked if she could listen to his heart with a stethoscope, and he gladly obliged. It was special to her to hear her son's heart still going, still beating strong, giving life to someone else. Also of interest: he'd wanted to be a doctor and his heart ended up being in a psychiatrist.
I pray that I never have to face that decision by losing a loved one, but I know I'd donate.....I would actually insist on it. My husband and I also registered ourselves as donors if something happened to us. No sense wasting things that could save lives for others.
I'm not surprised about the religion thing. I am friends with some Native Americans who think you take on characteristics of whatever (or whoever?) you bring into yourself. If someone was bad, you could get some of that darkness...that kind of thing. Do I agree? Um, no. A heart is just a piece of machinery that pumps blood through the body, as far as I'm concerned! Ditto any random bit that may need to be donated (I received a new ACL from a cadaver donation and it's changed my quality of life so much, and that's just a knee ligament). But yeah, I know some people would be concerned. The only time that would be weird to me is if it were um....a brain? (ha)

5 moms found this helpful

I would happily donate the kids' organs if something were to ever happen to them. I can't imagine losing my children and if I could save someone else's life, and know that my child, even a small part of him or her, lives on in that child...amazing.

5 moms found this helpful

Take anything and everything that can be used if this happens to me.. I have stated this to my entire family, my husband and our daughter have also said the same thing.. No matter how upset we are, there is no doubt, we will approve.

Giving birth to a child is amazing, saving a life would be a bonus.

5 moms found this helpful

My sister & her husband lost their first baby shortly after he was born. He was brain dead due at least partially to the umbilical cord being pinched & no blood flow.

They were able to donate his heart. It saved another baby's life. While heartbroken about their son, they gladly gave his organs to save someone else the same devastation of losing a loved one.

I think it's wonderful.

4 moms found this helpful

My feelings have changed a bit on organ donation, and it didn't help when I read this article from the Wall Street Journal: (What You Lose When You Sign that Donor Card)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020460300457... .

For myself I feel one way, but for my child I'm not sure if I could stop wondering if the doctors did their best to save him, or were they most interested in the organs, especially given the money involved? And was there any pain?

I think those questions would torture me.

That being said, I'm so extremely grateful when children are helped by organ donation.

It's not as clear-cut as I used to believe - that's my only point. But thank you thank you thank you to all those who do it.

PS: The religion of the recipient would not matter to me.

4 moms found this helpful

I would absolutely be for it.

But, Im not for your SWH. Geez, thats terrible!

4 moms found this helpful

I would absolutely do it. A body is just a house for a soul. :) I was completely shocked at the fact that some recipients refuse the donor on basis of religion. I can barely wrap my mind around such a concept!

I'm so happy for your friend and her family and my heart goes out to the people who lost their son. Bless that boy for being a donor.

edit* @ Manda F- you are so right. I was shocked at the religious aspect, but I shouldn't be. The world is full of nuts, isn't it?

4 moms found this helpful

My late Dad, needed a kidney transplant.
He never got one, though he was on a waiting list.
He died.

Whether or not to donate your child's organs, is very personal.

My Dad, would not even take my own kidney. We matched.
He would not let me, give him mine. He refused.
Because, he feared for me or my ability to have children, or for my own health later.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm all for it. When I die I want any and all organs or body parts to be used for medical purposes. I can't use my body anymore....if anyone can gain from it, either by donation or it being used for medical education I am all for it!

While I may not go that far with my kids, I would definelty donate their organs. Something though I don't like thinking about.

3 moms found this helpful

I am 100% for it. My dad was a lucky recipient of one. It gave him more years than he would have had. I would want to help people that might not get as many years as they could with the organs.

3 moms found this helpful

Donate Life!!! Our son may need a heart transplant down the road and we will be so thankful to the family that donates. It is a very hard decision to make after a tragic event, so it is important to express your wishes before that day comes!

2 moms found this helpful

I am all for organ donation, 100%. DH and I are both listed as organ donors. I have a hard time even thinking about what I'd do if anything happened to my son, but definitely, I'm pro-donation in these situations. I also donate blood from time to time, and I'm registered as a bone marrow donor, though so far, it seems I'm not a match for anyone. I recommend that everyone who supports organ donation also join this registry: http://marrow.org/Home.aspx. It's free, the test is painless, and it does a world of good. You can also find information about where to donate blood and platelets here: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes absolutely. I am listed as an organ donor on my license and would, I hope, be able to make that decision for my children they were to die as minors.

A friend's husband received a donor kidney a few years ago. The gift of life is an amazing thing.

2 moms found this helpful

Of course! Our loss but other's people gain. I can't imagine the pain losing achild, so I don't want any more tears from people who should be able to get that.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm an organ donor, and yes, God forbid if I had to make that choice, I would most definetly donate. So many lives would be effected, and their lives prolonged for it.

2 moms found this helpful

Can't even think of losing my son but the answer to your question is without a doubt.....the gift of live is the best gift that you can give someone and with all the questions around "why did this happen" - there would be some solace in the fact that someone else got an extension on their life.............I have not registered myself as an organ donor but my whole family is aware of my wish to be donor when my time comes.
And I would be ever so grateful to the donor if I was ever on the recieving end....wouldn't care one bit about their cultural/religious orientation etc.

2 moms found this helpful

I am okay with organ donations that do not require the death of a person to harvest them. Hang with me here. The term brain dead only came about because of organ donation. Before they coined that term, they actually had to have a dead person. The transplants were not successful. So, in order to transplant these particular organs, the heart has to still be beating. The blood is still flowing through the donor's body. The donor is subjected to the transplant without any anesthetics at all. People assume there is no pain. We don't really know. I had a friend who had a stroke. The doctors were talking to her husband over her body about donating her organs. She was wide awake, but nobody knew it. She was completely paralyzed. They thought she was either brain dead, or very nearly there. She was screaming in her head, "NO! NO!" Thankfully, her husband said no. She is convinced they would have operated on her to take her organs had he said yes. So close. I know they do tests. But, because she was paralyzed (and they did not know that), she wouldn't have been able to respond to their tests. (They do painful things to see if they get a response.) I do not think it is ethical to do this practice. I am fine with organ donations that do not require the life of the donor: kidneys, liver, for example. And, I am okay with organ donations that don't require the blood to be pumping (eyes). The Bible says that the life is in the blood, and so this is an even bigger issue for me. If the heart is pumping, there is life. If they can't do it truly after death, then no thank you. I won't accept them for my family, and I won't donate them for another. Please, if this strikes a chord with you at all, research it. If not, then go your merry way. I'm so thankful that I learned about it so that I could make an informed choice.

Just reading the article that Angela S. posted. I highly recommend that you read it. Here is an excerpt:

"But BHCs (beating heart cadavers - so-called brain dead, with beating hearts)—who don't receive anesthetics during an organ harvest operation—react to the scalpel like inadequately anesthetized live patients, exhibiting high blood pressure and sometimes soaring heart rates. Doctors say these are simply reflexes."
Something to think about.

One more thing: there is a lot of money in that industry. Not for the donor family, but for hospitals and doctors. Here is another quote:

"Organ transplantation—from procurement of organs to transplant to the first year of postoperative care—is a $20 billion per year business. Recipients of single-organ transplants—heart, intestine, kidney, liver, single and double lung and pancreas—are charged an average $470,000, ranging from $288,000 for a kidney transplant to $1.2 million for an intestine transplant, according to consulting firm Milliman. Neither donors nor their families can be paid for organs."
Be informed.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, I would donate my child's organs. I'm sure the process would be more emotional than I could imagine, for both sides.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, I definitely would. I too am listed on my driver's license as a donor and God forbid anything happen to my children I would not hesitate saying yes to their organs being donated. I personally know several people who have benefited...2 people with new lungs due to Cystic Fibrosis & 1 person I worked with just recently donated a kidney. And I know the hell they went through prior to having the transplant & how great they are doing now. And it definitely would not matter to me the person's religious belief's if I was getting a transplant or donating mine...I truly don't understand why that would matter to anyone.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes I have my donor card with my driver's license and my family is aware of my wishes to be a donor. I am also registered on the marrow donor list too. I would definitely donate one of my children's organs if something horrible happened. Let's hope I am never confronted with that decision.

1 mom found this helpful

In THEORY, yes I would... in practice?

God only knows.

Especially as my son almost died I don't know how many times last year. It was his lungs, so I would have had about 2 seconds to make a snap decision about a LOT of decisions.

((Ever read the donation list? It includes eyes, parts of eyes, skin -and total skin removal or just parts-, bones -and which bones-, etc.))

I have no idea if I would have been in the mental state to let GO of him (physically) so they could take him apart as fast as possible, even if I DID say yes.

I grew up in medicine. I've worked in healthcare. I feel very strongly about organ donation. But I've also almost lost my child...

So, theory is nice and all... but that's all it is. I have NO idea what I would do if/when that happened.

1 mom found this helpful

I have mentioned many times about my daughter, who had a heart transplant at age 16. She had a very sudden massive coronary. Never had problems prior to that moment in time. She received the heart of a 12 year old boy who had taken it on himself 6 months prior to his tragic accident to tell his parents that he wanted to donate his organs if he ever died.

As another posted, the immunosuppressant drugs really are hard on the body. My daughter gets SO sick from very common illnesses. It takes weeks to shake a cold, which often turns into bronchitis. On top of that, she had lymphoma, which most certainly was caused by her body not being able to fight off the cancer cells that float in everyone's bodies. But, she is alive, and she's married and even has a baby now. She is a remarkable young woman, and a fabulous mom. We know she won't have a normal lifespan, but we treasure what life she does have. Who could deny that to someone else's child?

1 mom found this helpful

I am all for organ donation...myself, my hubs and my children.

My A. (who is also my hero!) is a transplant survivor. My only issue with organ donation is that while the organ donated saves a life and is truely appreciated. I do not like seeing the fact that anti-rejection medications cause the receiver to lose all their immune system. Watching someone catch a cold and go down for weeks because their immune system is gone is not fun either.

We have been blessed to have her an additional almost 15 years. However, we have almost lost her several times to things like colds which turn into pneumonia.

As for the religion...well good thing I'm not religious. I also don't agree with those who do not accept medical attention due to religion. I don't understand it but I respect their right to believe in it.

1 mom found this helpful

I do support organ donation... I would willingly share my children (or myself, or my husband) in that way. If they can go on to help another person live, that is wonderful.

My friends, when their daughter (age 28, I think) passed away this spring, they donated her body to medical science...... she had gone through many medical procedures in her life, and had a number of other problems... I think they wanted her to help others as she had been helped so much.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, I'm an organ donor and would also donate my child's organs if needed. I would take comfort in knowing they went to help someone else.

I am not surprised that some people will refuse an organ due to religion, race or some other matter. I find that to be unfortunate, especially if it is going to save the life of a child who cannot make the decision for themselves. And I am also a religious person.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm an organ donor, or should I say would be an organ donor if anything happened to me. My husband knows my wishes. I would also allow my childrens organs to be donated if the occassion God forbid should arise.

I would donate anything I could to save a life while living, bone marrow, a kidney, a part of my liver, blood. If I can help save a life by sacrificing a part of mine, I'd be happy to.

1 mom found this helpful

I am all for it and I am a registered organ donor. I hope I would have the strength to donate my children's organs if I was in that situation but it is a much harder process than I ever imagined. My friend was asked to donate her son's organs. He however did not die "in time", once they took him off of life support, so his organs ended up being unusable.

1 mom found this helpful

Of course I would donate my son's organs. DH and I are also organ donors. There is (in a way thankfully) a major shortage of pediatric organs. I am not sure why anyone would not be willing.

I am an organ donor - have been for years.
When my daughter was a minor, had she died, I would have donated her organs without a second thought. Now that she is grown, she has made the decision on her own to be an organ donor.

I would absolutely consider donating my childrens' organs. I hope I NEVER have to make such a tragic decision, but should that ever happen, I hope I have the strength to look past my grief and make a choice that would benefit another human being. If my child has no chance of recovery, another person's child just might.

Having worked in the Transplant Department (solid organs: kidney, liver, pancreas, kidney-pan) of a major metro medical center, I fully support transplantation for myself and my children. My husband has serious reservations, so if/when the time comes, I will be honoring his wishes to NOT donate.

The only thing I refuse to donate is my whole body...intact. I don't want to live on in perpetuity in some medical school lab. Take the individual organs, skin, eyes etc. Just don't leave me whole.

Best wishes to the boy who received the kidney. And to the donor's family...may they find peace in his gift of life to others.

A good friend lost her twin sister and was so destroyed over it. Her twin saved numerous lives by being an organ donor. They are in touch with everyone that received an organ. They get to hear her twins heart beating in the man she saved. Her family is so proud and thankful for these experiences. Most selfless thing you can do on your way out. Honestly...how can you not? Why not be a hero and let others continue to live? You don't need them when you are dead!
As far as turning down an organ for religious reasons, etc. So crazy to me! Beggars can't be choosers and a new organ won't change what you believe. Ridiculous. But then again people think you can't get pregnant if raped b/c your body shuts down. Smh

I have no problems at all with organ donation or receiving organs. It's not a conflict of the Catholic faith. It's considered a gift of life. I am, in fact, an organ donor.

I had this conversation with my children when the subject came up and they asked what it meant. While they're a little hinky about receiving an organ to remain alive, they intensely dislike the thought of donating an organ whether they're still alive or not. They do NOT give me permission to donate their organs, so no matter how I feel about it, I don't think I could go against their wishes unless/until they change their minds. The same goes for my husband.

If, god forbid, my children were dead then I absolutely would donate their organs. They don't need them. I am also an organ donor.
I hate to even think about it, but I have seen first hand the benefits of organ donation.
Laura

We donated my mom's organs...the only thing they could use were her corneas. I know she would have been so happy to have given the gift of sight to two different people. (We got the most beautiful thank you notes from the recipients...they came anonymously though the mail).

I only hope that when I go my family will pass on my organs...it is a wonderful way to live on.

I hope I never have to make the decision to donate my child's organs...but I think I could make that choice knowing my child was living on in them and giving the gift of life or sight.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.