Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work hard to save my life
Reality: When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life – not somebody else's. You'll be seen by a doctor whose speciality most closely matches your particular situation. The doctor in charge of your care has nothing to do with transplantation.
Myth: My religion discourages organ donation:
Reality: There are 22 major religions in the world, none of which discourages organ donation.
Myth: I'm too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.
Reality: There's no defined cut off age for donating organs. Organs have been successfully transplanted from donors in their 70s and 80s. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age.
Myth: When you're waiting for a transplant, you're financial or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.
Reality: When you are on the transplant waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information. Your income and social status have no bearing when determining how organs are allocated. All patients are equal in an organ waiting list.
Myth: If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs of retrieval.
Reality: There is no cost to the donor's family for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.
Myth: I am an organ recipient I cannot be a donor.
Reality: Organ recipients may not be tissue donors due to the immunosuppressive drugs that are administered. However, the medical team determines whether a healthy organ can be retrieved.
Myth: Organ/tissue removal will disfigure the body and affect cremation/burial arrangements.
Reality: The removal of organs or tissues will not interfere with customary funeral or burial arrangements. The appearance of the body is not altered. A highly skilled surgical transplant team removes the organs and tissues which can be transplanted in other patients. Surgeons suture up the body carefully, hence no outward disfigurement is visible. Only a scar is present after the organs are removed.
Myth: If I donate my organs it will cause delays to my funeral arrangements
Reality: Yes there is a possibility. However, given the altruistic nature of the donation, families usually accept this and take it as part of the process of donation.
Myth: It is enough if I have a donor card
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 wish to donate your organs so that they give consent for donation when the circumstance arises.
Myth: Once I become an organ donor I can never change my mind
Reality: You always have the option to change your mind. You can withdraw your registration by informing the registry, tear up your organ donor card and let your family know that you have changed your mind.
Being an organ donor can make a big difference not just to one person. By donating your organs after you die, you can save or improve as many as 50 lives. And many families say that knowing that their loved one has helped save other lives has helped them cope with their loss.