Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(Bump) Organ Donation Myth #2

(This myth can actually go two ways)

Myth 2a - Even if I never tell anyone, as long as I am registered as an organ donor on my driver's license and the medical personal are aware of that fact, my organs will be used.

Myth 2b - Even if I am registered as a donor on my driver's license, my organs will not be used unless I tell my closest of kin of my wishes and they are able to follow through.

The truth and false to these two myths really all depends on what state (in the US) you live in. Up until recently, Myth 2b was true for every state. If your next of kin either could not be contacted or was unwilling or unable to confirm your intent to be a donor, the indication on your driver's license meant nothing, legally. The family ultimately had the final say.

But, recently, several states have passed laws similar to the one passed just a few months ago in NC that make Myth 2a true. The Heart Prevails Act of NC declares that, even if the next of kin either cannot be contacted or is unwilling to consent, the little heart symbol on your NC driver's license is legal consent to allow medical personnel to begin the process of organ recovery. (Tissue donation still must be consented to by family.)

These new laws/acts are incredibly beneficial, for several reasons:

1) They help to insure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out.

2) They help take the pressure off of the family to make the final decision.

3) The make the entire organ recovery and donation process easier, quicker and safer, insuring that recipients have a better chance of survival.

4) They increase the number of available organs.

It is still incredibly important, no matter what state you live in, to notify your family of your wishes, even if it is just to help them be prepared.

Take a few minutes to Click Here and discover how you can become an organ donor in your state of residence and how to help insure that your wishes are carried out upon your death.

Read more about Organ Donation Myths.

Thank you!



TsMom ~ Karen ~ Durbette said...

AND, make sure that your family truly understands, appreciates and is willing to follow through with your requests!

Unfortunately, the family is able to overturn your request by simply denying donation, etc., and in that case, much needed organs are sacrificed due to family's misconceptions...Sad, but true in some states.

God bless you, Nate, and your girls!


laura said...

My dad was an organ donor when he died. It makes me smile to know that someone else got his beautiful hazel eyes, and I don't know what else they were able to use. My mom wants her body donated to science, and everyone else in my family are signed up to be donors. I think God allowed science to be so amazing that when one person's earthly body ceases to exist - they can still help someone else continue to live. Praying for a transplant for Tricia - love your stories and am so grateful for your willingness to share. Blessings, Laura in Virginia

Anna Marie said...

Nate, thanks for taking the time to inform everyone about this. It's such an important topic and is so often misunderstood.

Anna Marie
Wilmington, NC

Anonymous said...

Nate - would something preclude you from being a donor? Or do they assess your organs after death to determine what they can use.

Thanks for addressing this. You are enlightening a lot of people with your insight and willingness to share.


marcia said...

Attention all Michigan residents:
I have been living under the false assumption that I was registered in MI until I just followed the link Nate provided, and discovered that if you were registered before Jan of 2007, you need to go the website and re-register. They will send you a red heart sticker apparently like NC, and MI does not require next of kin consent if you are on the list. Even though my husband and I have, for many years, signed and witnessed each other's check mark on our driver's license for organ donation indicating our willingness to donate, I feel better, now having taken a couple of minutes to register on-line. Please consider doing that today! Thanks!

Jessie P. said...

I just filled out the form for my state. They are mailing the signature page. (Sig required in Washington). Thanks for posting the link!!!

Carsten said...


I went online this morning and signed up to be on the donor registry in my state. I also sent out an email to everyone I know encouraging them to do the same. Thank you for raising this issue through your very personal story. Continued prayers from Houston, TX...

AlaneM said...

Thank you so much for the link - I've always been an organ donor via my liscence but I like that you can find out how it works, what can/will be used etc. I registered & forwarded the link to everyone I know.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Thanks for all the research you've done to fill us in.

I hope that if we have further questions, we'll take the inititative to go to the links you've provided and find out the answers.

From my experiences in the ER with families faced with this decision it is always easier if the decision has been made prior to the death. I don't like asking the question, but do because I believe in organ donation.

Unknown said...

Hi Nate,

I've been following your blog for several weeks now, I found out about it off of carepages. I just wanted to let you know that I've been praying for your family and will continue to do so. I am a nursing student at UNC but will be working at Duke starting in July. I love hearing all of the updates about both of the girls in your life. I have helped with pediatric CF research here at UNC for the past 3 years so I've learned a lot about it. I also know the importance of organ donation, as my dad has received a kidney and two corneas. Today we actually had a presentation about organ donation in one of my classes and we watched the ESPN video about Jason Ray (he was our school mascot who was killed in an accident last year) he donated his organs and saved the lives of at least 5 people. I love that you are using this blog to educate people about donation as it is so needed. Also openly discussing your faith is also amazing! Anyway, class today had me thinking about you and your story, and I thought I'd let you know I was another person praying that your daughter continues to feed and grow and be free from infection and that your wife gets her new lungs soon!

God bless you!

Jen Taurus said...

This might have already been covered but the only way to get your North Carolina drivers license to reflect that your an organ donor is by having the DMV representitive add it on when you apply, renew or update. You simply cannot mention it orally or stick a heart sticker on your license.

Unknown said...

Dear Nate,

Just so you know both organs AND tissue can be donated without kin consent in some states. For instance, Megan, Al, myself and the Jersey crew don't need next of kin consent. :)


Anonymous said...

Hello, I know this is probably none of my business, but I have been wondering all along about this so just thought I would ask, but why does Tricia need another set of lungs? Did the new lungs "catch CF?" I just don't understand how come they failed (the new lungs) If she gets new ones, will they "catch CF" again from the cells in her body? I am sorry if this question is offensive in any way, but I am just wondering how the transplant works. Why the new lungs caught the CF?

CFHusband said...

"Hello, I know this is probably none of my business, but I have been wondering all along about this so just thought I would ask, but why does Tricia need another set of lungs? Did the new lungs "catch CF?" I just don't understand how come they failed (the new lungs) If she gets new ones, will they "catch CF" again from the cells in her body? I am sorry if this question is offensive in any way, but I am just wondering how the transplant works. Why the new lungs caught the CF?"

I don't mind answering questions. If you'll take a few minutes to read the posts from the past 15 months, you'll see that Tricia is in rejection. All organ transplants fail, some sooner than others. CF will not affect any transplanted organ.

Anonymous said...

ok, thanks, I have read all of your posts, been following you since your daughter was born, but I guess I didn't understand fully what rejection was. I didn't know that rejection would actually cause the lungs to become damaged. I thought rejection caused other issues in the body. Kind of like hives or something like that only on a grander scale, but that the lungs were still good. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and I hope for the best for your wife and family.

StopAndSmellTheTulips said...

A person has CF and continues to have CF even with new lungs. It is a genetic disease meaning every cell in the body has it. Getting a new set of lungs allows a person with CF to start fresh with lungs that aren't damaged from living with CF since birth. The new lungs don't "catch CF" but they will eventually be weakened bc of the disease. A lung transplant doesn't cure a person of CF it just prolongs their life while scientists work toward a cure for every mutation. As with any transplant the body can begin to reject the organ at any time without warning. This is what is suspected in Tricia's case. Her body has begun to fight against the new lungs and they aren't working as well as they should.