Monday, 16 March 2009

Will they respect my body after I'm dead?

One of the most important tasks we face here at LLTGL is quashing the many myths and fears surrounding organ donation.

This was brought home to us from the results of the recent survey conducted by NHS Blood and Transplant. Over 5,000 people responded to the survey, with 90% supporting organ donation and transplantation, but of those who were undecided, the greatest concern regarded how their body would be treated both before and after death.

One of people's greatest fears is that they won't be treated properly once they were identified as an organ donor. However, as Dr Paul Murphy, an Intensive Care Consultant in Leeds and NHSBT's National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, explains:

"we have particular safeguards in place to ensure that staff who may be subsequently involved in transplantation have no involvement in the care of a patient who might become a donor when they die. Donation only becomes an option that we consider when death is inevitable"

The other main worry pinpointed was whether the body would be treated with respect after death. Dr Murphy went on to say:

"I cannot tell you just how much respect and honour my staff have for patients who donate organs after their death. Donors, and their families, are very special to us, and we do everything that we can to maintain an individual’s dignity throughout - why would we do any less when you consider the tremendous gift that they are making? "

To find out more about the process of donating organs, from how seperate specialist donor coordinators come to talk to the family, through to the retrieval operation and beyond, you can read about Liz Waite, one of eight donor transplant co-ordinators covering the central belt of Scotland, who has chronicled a "day in the life of a donor coordinator"

You can also pop on over to a special section on our website, "Facts and Info" where we have answers to some of the most common FAQs about organ donation

Everybody involved in transplantation, from surgeons to recipients and the families of those who have died waiting, knows just how special all donors and their families are. We hope to continue letting people know that organ donors really truly give the gift of life, and are cherished as such every step of the way

1 comment:

Holly said...

Hi Jen, Thanks for this!

I went vox-popping on the streets of Warrington as part of my Battlefront campaign, and this was one of the issues that arose!

As well as other myths that need to be cleared up!

Interesting post! x