Friday, August 1, 2008

Organ donor

I have always thought if this as a great thing. I mean it really is somewhat comforting for a family to know that the the organs of their loved one will help restore life to someone in need. That said, I don't think it is a good idea to contact the family to let them know that their loved ones donated organ will not be able to be used for whatever reason. That I should have to say that seems unreal to me. How is it possible that our medical profession has no sense of what would be appropriate to tell the family who has just suffered a loss. Please keep Rachael's family in your prayers, that they miss her terribly is an understatement. I cannot begin to know what they are feeling, but I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. Hold your babies and love on them today, no matter what they do, just love on them and laugh it off.


mommyretta said...

I agree. I think it was heartless of the medical professional who chose to let the family know Rachael's organs couldn't be used. I think medical professionals need a course in compassion!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually, it would be heartless to not tell the family. We have both a moral and legal obligation to notify the family that the organs were not able to be used for the primary intention. Otherwise, the results could be a disaster.

That healthcare professional that every one things was heartless was behaving in a professional, moral and ethical manner.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! Well said, anonymous. As a fellow health care provider, I have been with the families as they made that very difficult decision and yes, we have sometimes had to tell them that the organs were not suitable for donation. Unfortunately, we sometimes don't know that until we are actually in the middle of the recovery process but we ABSOLUTELY always tell the family. It would be cruel and heartless to deceive the family. So, Bravo to the family for making the organ donation decision and bravo to those dedicated professionals who work with donor, donor families and recipients.

Janelle said...

I noticed that the 2 comments that are defending the medical view do not have the courage to do so with their name included. I do not mind that you feel a need to comment, I have allowed them thus far as they have been civil, but please note that I will not post anymore anonymous comments to this post. If you want to participate then do so and tell the world who you are.

I appreciate that you feel that it is heartless not to tell but quite frankly, as a mother I would never want to know. I think that was adequately expressed by Pete's post also as someone who was actually going through the situation. Compassion and empathy cannot be taught and obviously it is lacking in this instance of medical disclosure. Maybe you can have the family sign something that says yes or no to contact after if the organs cannot be used. I can't imagine you'll get many that say yes.

You are not deceiving the family by not telling them, they gave you the organs so that they could help, sometimes things given cannot be used because the timeframe doesn't work out or the organs were not in the shape you thought they'd be. Families don't expect you to put a bad organ in someone else but it is like twisting the knife in their heart buy coming back and telling them it couldn't be used for whatever reason.

Maybe you both should consider how it would feel. Forget your medical perspective for a minute and really put yourself in the place of the family, would you want to know?

Lucky said...

I read the four posts with a great deal of interest. I can see both sides of the situation, however, I have to agree that the family should be told. I think if it is said in a gentle professional manner then a great deal of heartache can be saved.

How about in the situation where an organ cannot be used because of some type of heriditary problem...something that perhaps the donor family needs to know about so they can perhaps follow up with their surviving children? I don't know, I have not had a lot of experience with this type of problem, but again, it seems like if I donate something for a specific purpose and that purpose cannot be fulfilled, then someone needs to let me know. Yes, I would want to know