Tuesday, April 28, 2009

O is for Organ donation in ABC Wednesday

Regular visitors to my blog will know that I had a successful heart transplant five years ago. However that is not the issue of this post - the issue is what made this possible: A donation of an organ by an unknown donor who no longer needed it.

Wikipedia defines Organ donation like this:

Organ donation is the removal of the tissues of the human body from a person who has recently died, or from a living donor, for the purpose of transplanting. Organs and tissues are removed in procedures similar to surgery. People of all ages may be organ and tissue donors.
WHO has the following sentences as one of the major guidelines for organ transplantation:
Cells, tissues and organs may be removed from the bodies of deceased persons for the purpose of
transplantation if:

(a) any consent required by law is obtained, and
(b) there is no reason to believe that the deceased person objected to such removal.
The laws varies from country to country concerning how this is done and how the obvious ethical questions are handled. Concerning the last question, it is worthy of note that all the major religions in the world accept organ donation - it is the ultimate gift. Registers are often used, either with "yes" or "no". In Norway one can in principle use any organ that qualifies medically and ethically, but in practice a known acceptance by the donor or the relatives is required. That is why there are yearly campaigns where people are encouraged to fill out donor cards that they can carry on their person and to inform their relatives and friends about their decision. The second picture is from such a stand in Bergen in 2006. The text on the poster board says it all:

Organ donation - life as a gift.

I owe my life to a donor whose family gave a positive answer to the ultimate question when no hope of continued life was left: Do you wish that the organs of your relative shall save the life of somebody else? They did so, and I will be eternally grateful.


Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

53 comments:

Anne said...

Jeg sier meg så enig!!

Malyss said...

Your post is very impressive, and not only because of the above picture.I knew you had health problems with your heart, but I did not know about the donation. I already let my family know that I would agree for a donation of my organs "if" .. but I never spoke with someone who received an organ.
You confirm me in that choice, but you also make me think about a lot of things..One being about this person, still alive through you.

RuneE said...

Malyss: I hope I have not expressed myself too badly - I'm alive due to somebody else's donation of a heart to me...

PERBS said...

I am aware of your transplant and find it wonderful that we can do that in this day and age. Here in the US, people get a little red heart on their driver's license or ID card to show that they are a donor -- not only for organs but also SKIN! Burn victims need skin badly. . .

I am proud to say I have that little heart on my ID. At first, I hesitated because I do not have great eyesight and I was told "but you can see and lead a better life than a blind person, partial sight is better than none!"

That convinced me to be a donor. I just plan to be cremated anyway so they might as well use anything that is helpful to another so they can live a better life after I don't need it any longer. I am going to get a perfect body in heaven so I won't be needing the old one anymore. Ü

Malyss said...

I understood very well.
I guess, it's me that was not clear:-)).

imac said...

What a wonderful Post Rune.
This was done and put across with such passion,and quite understandable as you said that you have had a transplant.
Im sure this post will help others to decide.

Reader Wil said...

One of the best posts of "O"! It's impressive and very well explained. I knew that you had a heart transplant and admire you for the fact that you are so positive and always interested in what other bloggers write. One of my grandchildren has also a heart condition. He is now sixteen, but we are very well aware that he has to be very careful.Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your visit and very kind words, but you made me curious by saying that St Olav was responsible for the fall of London Bridge! I know that song of course, but that the Vikings destroyed it, no that's new to me! I'll add it to my post!

RennyBA said...

Important matter and I do agree with you!

Btw: Didn't know that was the reason why we've been at the same hospital, but glad your fine again too :-)

RennyBA's Terella

Svein said...

Ikke lett å tenke på å bli skjært i etter sin død... På den annen side så obduserer de jo likevel ofte. Så i praksis kan de jo like godt stikke av med noen organer i samme slengen :-)

Cheffie-Mom said...

This is a wonderful post. Blessings to you.

Sylvia K said...

And I'm so very glad they did! That's wonderful! Really enjoyed your post and the info that you shared.

Hyde DP said...

O what a suitable post - I'm just visiting the sites of the people who posted the 270 comments while you were minding HDP for me - it will probably take me a few days in between other tasks.

8 down 262 to go!

VALKYRIEN said...

Alvorlig og sårbart tema for mange. Derfor er det så viktig at man tar et standpunkt rundt dette, før de pårørende må gjøre det for en! Da er det så mange følelser i sving at man ikke tenker klart. I ditt tilfelle greide de tydeligvis det, og det er beundringsverdig.

Flott, alvorlig og tankevekkende innlegg!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Tänkvärt!OOO va bra, viktigt ämne att tycka till om, I'm all for it!

Tyra

THE GREENHOUSE IN TYRA'S GARDEN

Anne said...

Du skjønner Rune, det var en Oslo-herre-and jeg knipset. og de vet du har ikke vett på å gå å legge seg til kvelds, klokka var jo sikkert 2230..., dvs. meget mørkt ute, så nesten ikke selv hva jeg tok bilde av... på en annen side er de ikke så `sky` de mannfolka i hovedstaden :-))

Anna said...

A most thought provocative and informative post Rune. Thank you. As far as I am concerned anyone is welcome to have any bits of me that might still be useful once I have departed this life.

kadermo said...

Ett mycket angeläget inlägg - fler borde fylla i ett donationskort !

Abe Lincoln said...

This was a great explanation of the whole process. And as a result of the transplant I suppose you can do things now that you could not do before.

I did have my aorta opened and a Dacron tube inserted in it due to an aortic aneurysm. That was a big operation for me.

I am still having serious breathing problems but getting along.

Take care of yourself. Say a prayer each night. I know I do.

Old Wom Tigley said...

A truely great post Rune... I am willing to donate anything when I go...I have also been concidering leaving my entire boby to science, but Jane is not to sure about how my sons would feel... it is something that I will bring up with then soon...

All the best my friend.
Tom

Pat - Arkansas said...

A fine "O" post, Rune. The gift of an organ, pre- or post-death, one of the finest gifts one could make. In our state, our drivers' licenses indicate whether or not we wish to be an organ donor, since, in case of an accident, that document is usually carried on the person. My license is so inscribed. Even at my age, anything in my body that could be useful to another human being should be harvested. My children have been made aware of my desire to do this.

LiBeReJo said...

knall bra:)

Dagrun said...

Det er veldig flott (og sterkt) av deg å fokusere sånn i blogen din! Det er selvsagt viktig for deg, men likevel er det ikke gitt at en orker. Så all ære til deg! Virkelig.

Mara said...

I've always felt that after I'm dead, I won't need my organs anymore and they might help someone else to live. And you are living proof that it is necessary and that it works!
Great O!

Babooshka said...

This is such a personal post, yet concerns us all. There have been many discussions about having opt out cards instead of donor cards in the UK, but just talk. Excellent choice ans you are so right to keep reminding us.

david mcmahon said...

So personal, so moving and so inspiring.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Wonderful post, Rune E, because you are an excellent example of the kind of person who might receive an organ donation,.

Jeni said...

Excellent post about a subject we should all give lots of thought to this life saving technology.
As you know, a friend of my son and my younger daughter recently benefited from a kidney transplant and now is doing fantastic. Several other individuals from the area where I live have had kidney and/or liver transplants. I worked with a girl about 20 years ago who donated a kidney to her brother and one of my favorite bloggers -Terri of Terri Terri Quite Contrary -donated a kidney to her father last summer, thus enabling two other people to have the gift of life. I applaud your making it known, world-wide, via your blog -about this beautiful gift many of us could give to someone else to enable them to continue to be here with family and friends, when our own time on earth has expired.

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful gift to be sure. A friend who had a kidney transplant and extended/improved that life for a long time. Amazing and wonderful!!

J said...

A timely reminder of why it's so important to tick that box and tell your next of kin. This has made me wonder what they do about this in China.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

greece is one of the slowest countries in europe to accept this fact of life - organ donation.
it has been found that greeks are willign to donate an organ to a relative, but not to a stranger...

Grace and Bradley said...

Best luck for your continuous health. The people at our age see the medicine's break through in various front. I am glade that you benefit from it. People should be made more aware of the importance and benefit of organ donation.

Miss_Yves said...

Oh! a commited post, today !

Gordon said...

In South Australia, we have the option of being an organ donor and having this documented on your driver's licence. I opted to be a donor and reading your blog is very encouraging.

Naturegirl said...

What a wonderful fact to know about you my friends! Organ donation is life!

gaz said...

a great gift indeed.
nice post.

mine’s here

spacedlaw said...

Not only the heart but all the bits that cna be useful to others.

Wenche said...

Eit veldig sterkt innlegg! Er glad at det går bra med deg. Det å ha vore alvorleg sjuk og så få den gaven å bli frisk igjen, det er rett og slett fantastisk. Ein vil vel alltid vere takknemleg overfor dei som hjalp deg til å bli frisk igjen. Og at nokon tar valet om å donere organer, det står det respekt av. Stå på Rune!

Carol said...

This is very informative and a very touching post...also thought provoking...I am glad that you shared this, RuneE, it should be of concern to all...

RuneK said...

Det er en flott, alvorlig og viktig post. Absolutt til ettertanke at vi kan komme til nytte dagen vi går bort, uavhengig av årsak så kan vi faktisk hjelpe noen. Det er nesten utenkelig å tenke på, men det kan ramme oss alle. Vi er sårbare alle sammen, og det er små marginer…

Ha en fin kveld Rune!

naturglede said...

Flott innlegg og veldig viktig. Ha en fin abc:)

Granny Smith said...

In California one is offered the option with the issuance or re-issuance of a driver's license to include an organ donor card. I have always carried one and so has Otto. They are unqualified, meaning that any or all organs can be harvested.

A worthwhile post. I sincerely hope that you will have no more heart problems.

Alexander said...

Good choice. I was amazed with the photo you can come out with on the topic of organs. Great work done!

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

ArneA said...

in principle use any organ that qualifies medically and ethically, but in practice a known acceptance by the donor or the relatives is required

and so it should continue to be

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a wonderful gift! This is so moving...thanks for sharing...I'm thanking David's POTD once again for bringing me to see your wonderful photos, and to read your terrific...

VALKYRIEN said...

Gratulerer nok en gang med Post of The Day! Vel fortjent for et slikt tema - og velskrevet som det er! :)

Ha en flott dag!

jinksy said...

Congratulations on the post and making it to the POTD list!

John said...

Igjen en meget flott og ikke minst sterk post, Rune.

Mr. Nighttime said...

Came to your blog via authorblog. Congrats on your heart tx from an almost 12-year liver recipient, and former organ procurement coordinator here in Rochester, NY.

You might be interested to know that last year here in NY State, the "intent registry" was changed to a "consent registry," with an organ donor card being a legal document for the recovery of solid organs and tissues. While family consent is no longer required, families are still consulted but made aware of their loved ones wishes if they are registered as donors. Family permission is still required for those who have not signed on to the registry.

I'm going to add you on to my blog roll. Always nice to meet other recipients from other places in this world.

Leslie: said...

What an encouraging post and congratulations on making authorblog's POTD. :D

Jewels said...

In Ontario Canada we get a card when we pass our drivers licence exam. How great is it that the government supports organ donation is such a positive way?

How wonderful that you made it through such an ordeal. Medical science is brilliant!

Lew said...

Great post on the subject! I'm glad the donor was there for you. I too am a registered donor.

Chris said...

That's a great post. Very informative on the subject. Thank you.

Barbara Martin said...

Thank you for sharing this, RuneE. Some 40 years ago I had major spinal surgery done to correct a damaged spine and pelvis from a childhood injury. Dead bone from a donor with the same protein as mine had been donated and when it was obtained I had the surgery. That person was there for me, and I am there for anyone in the future.