There is no dancing around the reality that there are too few organs and too many people who need them. The organ waiting list is a frustrating but vital component of modern medicine because it looks at the millions of people waiting for the thousands of available organs.
There are some misunderstandings about organ donation. The Lahey Hospital seeks, with an astounding staff, to offer real and valued information in some very challenging situations. One of these situations includes the reality of organ donation. But, there are misconceptions that bury organ donation and shed an incorrect light on what it means.
Age is Relevant
Age is not a direct factor in being able to donate or even receive a donation. In actuality, age is not considered and weighed at all. It can create a strong social bias that isn’t true. Now, other factors that stem from age may play a part in either donating or receiving a donation. For example, it is statistically true that older individuals have higher rates of cancer. The presence of cancer would likely disqualify a donor. But, strict age is not a consideration.
Medications, Illnesses and Other Factors
Individuals in their seventies and eighties have donated their organs and saved lives. Many people will rule themselves out due to age or even medication. Medication is hardly a ruling out indication. Importantly, signing as a donor does not guarantee this will happen. It only opens the door for the opportunity to allow doctors to see the potential. An illness, even something like asthma, is not a clear designation for non-donor.
It is imperative that all people consider their lasting impression of the world and what they want to do with this legacy. Lahey Hospital on Facebook encourages everyone to open themselves to a possible donation. Do not self “rule out” by assuming age or medication will result in a non-donation status. File as a donor and allow the doctors to make that assessment. Being an organ donor could mean saving not just one life or even two. It could mean saving many people and giving families the joy of saved loved ones.