Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Let's Clarify a Few Things

organ donationEmily DeArdo1 Comment

In reading one of my favorite blogs this morning, there was a post on how brain death isn't "death", and thus, how organ donation is basically people killing other people for parts.  The blog post linked to an "article" (which is really a charitable term for what it was), where the comment box was full of uneducated, conspiracy-theorist things about organ donation and how it's all a government plot to help SKYNET! Oh, and only rich people get organs because they bribe doctors. 

Also, transplants are "glamorous."

Yes. They so are. Let me tell you how glamorous it is to be cut in half and not able to take a real bath for a month. Let me tell you how glamorous it was for me to almost lose my right arm due to IV infiltrate. Let me tell you how glamorous it is to walk up and down hallways and have X-rays at 6 AM and to be in so much pain that just sitting up is difficult. Yes, that sounds super glamorous!

And it was so glamorous for my doctors and nurses and the rest of the staff, too. Because nothing says glamor like a twelve-hour surgery for my surgeon, where he's doing NOTHING but surgery. And it's also super glamorous to stay at a hospital for days on end making sure your patient doesn't die, and not be able to go home until you're certain she's stable. That is also super glamorous. 

And of course my family and I are just loaded. We live in Downton Abbey, didn't you know that? We have a private jet and everything. My parents don't have two other kids, or bills, or a mortgage. Nah. We're just dripping in extra money that we can use to bribe hospitals in two states to kill people so I can grab their organs. Yup. That's how it goes over here. 

(If you're sarcasm-impaired: the above is all sarcasm.)

Can we be real, please? If it really worked the way these people thought it worked, then 21 people wouldn't die every day waiting for organs that don't come. 130,000+ people wouldn't be on the transplant waiting list. Every hospital would do them, instead of only the relative handful that do. And everyone who needed one would get one, regardless of whether or not they're a good transplant candidate. 

Money, power, position....none of those things have anything to do with organ donation. Sorry. I hate to burst the conspiracy theorist's bubble. 

And also--guys. Brain death isn't some magical thing that we cooked up as part of a big racket. Again, see stats above. People aren't prowling hospitals looking for people to kill off for their organs. If that happened, people would lose their jobs. Centers would shut down. There would be an enormous public outcry and no one, understandably, would be an organ donor! 

All major religions support organ donation. St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI supported/support organ donation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says it's "Meritorious." 

You want to see how glamorous it is? How awful the surgeons and hospitals are? OK. Here you go.