Myths & Misconceptions

babyThere are many myths and misconceptions about donation that people believe to be true. Listed below you will find some of our most commonly heard myths and the reason for not designating themselves as organ and tissue donors, as well as the facts to help dispel these myths.
Myth: If emergency room doctors know you’re an organ and tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save you.
TRUTH: Medical professionals will do everything they can to save your life. The doctors who work to save your life are not the same doctors involved with organ donation. It is only after every attempt has been made to save your life that donation will be considered. In fact, from a medical standpoint, patients must receive the most aggressive lifesaving care in order to be potential organ donors.
Myth: Wealthy and famous individuals are more likely to receive a transplant because of their financial and/or celebrity status.
TRUTH: 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.
Myth: There are costs to my family for donation.
TRUTH: The donor’s family does not pay for the cost of donation. All costs related to donation of organs and tissues are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
Myth: I can sell my organs.
TRUTH: No! It is illegal to sell human organs and tissues. Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment.
Myth: No one will want my organs and tissues because of my medical history. Besides, I’m too old to be a donor.
TRUTH: The fact that you want to be a donor is something to be celebrated, and we encourage you to register your decision with pride. Age and most medical conditions do not exclude you from being a suitable organ and tissue donor. There are very few rule-outs, and due to medical advancements, even some of these may change over time. Your medical history will be evaluated at the appropriate time to determine your suitability to donate.
Myth: If I donate my loved one’s organs, the recipient of the organs and/or tissue will know who I am.
TRUTH: The identity of all parties is kept confidential. The donor family and the transplant recipient may receive such information as age, sex and state of residence. Mid-South Transplant Foundation facilitates correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient and agreed to by both parties.
Myth: I’m not sure what my religion thinks of donation.
TRUTH: All major religions support organ and tissue donation and see it as a final act of love and generosity toward others by giving the ultimate Gift of Life. Click here to see religious views on donation.
Myth: Having “donor” noted on your driver’s license or carrying a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.
TRUTH: It is important to sign up on the Organ & Tissue Donor Registry in your state to make your wishes known. It is not enough to have it written on the back of your license or to have a living will. Your registration will count as a legal, binding document that cannot be overturned by a family member. You can update and/or change your decision at any time. Once you have made an informed decision, make sure your family understands your wishes. It is important that you share your decision to donate life.