Sages of the New Covenant
Reality: In the case of cornea and some other tissue, age does not matter. For other organs it is the person’s physical condition, not age, which is the deciding factor. Specialist health care professionals decide in each case which organs and tissue are suitable. Organs and tissue may be donated from someone as young as a newborn and as old as 90. The liver, in particular, does not age like other organs and livers are commonly donated by people in their 70's and 80's. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.
Reality: At the time of death, the team that coordinates donation will review medical and social histories to determine donor suitability on a case-by-case basis. Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. However active cancer, active HIV, active infection (for example, sepsis) or Intravenous (IV) drug use are some of the contra-indications. Patients who have Hepatitis C may still donate organs to a patient who also has Hepatitis C. The same is true for Hepatitis B — but this happens in very rare cases. Most cancer patients may donate corneas.
Many diseases that were once considered to exclude organ donation are no longer considered a barrier. Examples include hepatitis and diabetes. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.
If you have heard a myth about organ donation or transplantation, please contact us:
Additional Reading Materials for those who are from Thamizh Nadu:
Reality: Most major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity. This includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faiths, except Jehovah Witness and Later Day Saints. On the contrary, most of the religions endorse 'giving' and what bigger form of giving can there be than giving life. If you have any doubts you can consult your religious leader.
Reality: The verses from 35 to 50 of 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians deals with the resurrection of the dead and the verse 44, 49 and 50, clearly indicates: “It is sown (buried) a natural body (mortal remains), it is raised a spiritual body” and “..we are borne the image of man of dust (physical body), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (God) … that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”.
Any way after burial or cremation of the moral remains, organs cease to exist. Hence, this theory holds good with other religions like Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. As per scriptures, the only element not destroyed is the soul. The physical body does not survive death anyway, so the organs hold no relevance in rebirth as they are destructible. It is the everlasting soul that is reborn.
Reality: Donation costs nothing to the donor's family. Costs for organ removal go to the transplant recipient.
Reality : Families are given the opportunity to spend time with their loved one after the operation if they wish. Arrangements for viewing the body after donation are the same as after any death.
Reality: Organs are always removed with the greatest of care and respect for the soul. This takes place in a normal operating theater under sterile conditions by a team of specialized doctors. Afterwards the surgical incision is carefully closed and covered by a dressing in the normal way. The operation is carried out by specialist health care professionals who always ensure that the donor is treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Donation doesn't disfigure the body or change the way it looks in a casket.
Reality: Organ and tissue donation doesn't interfere with having an open-casket funeral. For bone donation, a rod is inserted where bone is removed. With skin donation, a very thin layer of skin similar to a sunburn peel is taken from the donor's back. Because the donor is clothed and lying on his or her back in the casket, no one can see any difference. Normal funeral in an Open Casket is possible. Also since the donor's body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation.
Reality : Yes there is a possibility. However, given the altruistic nature of this donation, families usually accept this and take it as part of the process of donation. In the years to come, I am sure funeral house business will flourish in India, as children of many live on overseas assignments. In the past, particularly in Brahmin families, as soon as the death had occurred, they used to rush to the cremation ground. Now everyone has started using ‘freezer boxes’, awaiting long-distance relatives to come and pay their last respects. Similarly private mortuaries with a week-later “Visitation Day / Funeral” may catch-up in India.
Reality: By the time your will is read, it will be too late to recover your organs. Telling your family now that you want to be an organ and tissue donor is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. It is better to get your Organ Donor Card and carry it always with you.
Reality: No. Just having a donor card is not enough. You need to carry it at all times and also inform your relatives about your wishes so that they honor your wish at the moment of truth.
We suggest that the donors in India, after getting the Donor Card, sign Form -5 of The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, and leave it in the safe custody of the near ones. To download and fill-up Form - 5 of The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, just click on the following link:
Reality: You always have the option to change your mind. You can withdraw your registration, tear up your organ donor card and let your family know that you have changed your mind.
Reality: Information about the donor is released by the team that coordinates the donation to the recipients only if the family that donated requests it be provided.
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Sages of the New Covenant