1. You are a healthy person WHO DOES NOT NEED TO UNDERGO SURGERY.
2. You become a patient when you enter the Operating Room.
3. Yes, you will have a scar. (Size will vary).
4. Yes, you will have pain after surgery. (Amount and duration will vary).
5. There is NO ethical obligation to be an organ donor, even if you are a genetic relative. Organ donation is a voluntary procedure and the motivation should be altruism.
6. If your organ recipient has asked for privacy, please respect that and do not attempt to learn his/her identity or make contact. Conversely, if you as a donor want to maintain your privacy, please tell the Donor Advocate so that the intended recipient can be advised of your wishes during the consent process.
7. You cannot sell your organ to anyone. This is illegal.
8. Explore the experience level of your transplant center. Ask them about their donor morbidity (complications) and mortality (deaths).
9. Meet someone who has been a living donor. Your transplant center can arrange this.
10. Ensure you have your own life and health insurance policies before you donate. Some have experienced problems getting insurance/higher premiums after donation.
12. If you ever have ethical concerns about being a donor, consult the Donor Advocate or ethicist at your transplant center.
13. After you donate, keep in contact with the transplant center and let them know if you are having any complications. If you move or change your phone number, let them know. It is very important to track the safety and welfare of donors long-term.
♦♦♦Are you a bereaved living donor? Has the recipient of your living donation died? Did you donate to your spouse/partner and have since become divorced or separated? Did you meet your graft recipient and have a disappointing/negative experience? Have you suffered a complication after donation? Support is available from the social worker, as well as the Living Donor Advocate at the hospital which performed your surgery. Also, consider reaching out to the following support group: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/bereavedbylivingdonation/
Additionally, the following articles may be of assistance:
(These are only examples-- each transplant center has their own unique evaluation process but it will likely be similar to that which is noted above. In general, the intended recipient's insurance pays for the living donor evaluation but you may still have some out-of-pocket costs. If you live in a country which has a national/government-sponsored health insurance program, they often pay the evaluation fees. Some countries/regions have reimbursement/grant programs for donor expenses such as food, lodging, and associated travel. Please discuss this with the financial coordinator at the hospital you are working with.)
This is Professor Bramstedt's personal web site and the views expressed are her own. The site is not sponsored or supported by Philips/Royal Philips. The purpose of this web site is educational. Professor Bramstedt will NOT provide medical advice to anyone. You should consult a health care provider in all matters relating to your health, and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Any action on your part in response to the information provided in this web site is at the reader's discretion. Readers should consult their own health care provider concerning the information on this web site.Polls on this website are opinion polls, NOT research studies.