Isle organ donors drop amid record hi...

Isle organ donors drop amid record high in '08 - News

There are 18 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Feb 15, 2009, titled Isle organ donors drop amid record high in '08 - News. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

Sixteen people died in Hawaii last year waiting for a donated organ for a transplant, according to the Organ Donor Center.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Since: Mar 08

Aiea, HI

#1 Feb 15, 2009
In hard times people have to figure out how to make a living before they can think about donating organs. Yet there are a few issues concerning donating organs in my opinion that might make the process more humane toward the recipient.

Does ther donor get anything out of the deal other than helping another human beings that he does not know and never saw before? There has to be an incentive like money for example. Does the donor receive any money and if not then why not? In these hard times with all the drugs, shootings, stabbings and things how can the donor be sure his organ is not going to those kinds of people that will turn around and kill him or her once they get up and out? Can you be sure? Can the donors be sure the hospital won't just keep the organs and sell them to the highest bidder or give them to their friends?

Last. You have to put a face on the recipients. You have to make the donors feel that they are actually helping someone in need. Otherwise this whole area seems like a cold blank blackboard.

You need to stress more compassion and show that this is a life and death issue otherwise people will think more about how to servive one more day or month themselves. With no jobs around money incentive might be the first step and then next show us a profile of who will receive the organs?

In this context I am assuming the donor is still living?

Aloha,
Dave Undis

Mount Juliet, TN

#2 Feb 15, 2009
According to this story, less than 40% of drivers in Hawaii have agreed to donate their organs when they die. I bet every single one of the other 60% would accept an organ transplant if they needed one to live.

Half of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list when they need transplants we'll always have an organ shortage.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- allocate donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers, a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has 12,378 members, including 66 members in Hawaii.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.
Daughter needs kidney

Gillett, PA

#3 Feb 15, 2009
Thank you Sun Bullentin for this piece, organ donation is low not only in Hawaii but through out the whole United States. There are so many misconceptions about donation that scare family members. UNO'S needs to do more to clear this up and get more VOCAL about donation, ad's on TV ect. Get those bumper sticker out again that say DON'T TAKE YOUR ORGAN'S TO HEAVEN, WE NEED THEM HERE. To any donor, I thank you, the GIFT OF LIFE is so presious. We have been waiting over 5 yrs. Also a HUGE THANK YOU to all LIVING DONORS. Let's get the word out !!

Since: Mar 08

Aiea, HI

#4 Feb 15, 2009
Daughter needs kidney wrote:
Thank you Sun Bullentin for this piece, organ donation is low not only in Hawaii but through out the whole United States. There are so many misconceptions about donation that scare family members. UNO'S needs to do more to clear this up and get more VOCAL about donation, ad's on TV ect. Get those bumper sticker out again that say DON'T TAKE YOUR ORGAN'S TO HEAVEN, WE NEED THEM HERE. To any donor, I thank you, the GIFT OF LIFE is so presious. We have been waiting over 5 yrs. Also a HUGE THANK YOU to all LIVING DONORS. Let's get the word out !!
You said it much better that I ever could.

"There are so many misconceptions that scare family members. UNO'S needs to do more to clear this up and get more VOCAL about donation, ad's on TV ect."

Perfect! Hope they get the message now.
You said your daughter needs a kidney. Five years is a very long time. Please let us know who can donate, were to donate and what type of person can donate?

Let's get the message out as per your post. The public just does not know. You too, keep posting and make society more aware so your daughter will get her organ. Five years is way to long.

Aloha,
LEGAL immigrant

Wadsworth, NV

#5 Feb 15, 2009
Dave Undis wrote:
According to this story, less than 40% of drivers in Hawaii have agreed to donate their organs when they die. I bet every single one of the other 60% would accept an organ transplant if they needed one to live.
Half of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list when they need transplants we'll always have an organ shortage.
There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- allocate donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs.
Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers, a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has 12,378 members, including 66 members in Hawaii.
Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.
Dave, with the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse and STDs in Hawaii, just how many 'clean' organs do you think are available there?
Bob

Wailuku, HI

#6 Feb 15, 2009
I think one way to increase organ donation is to actually honor people's wishes to donate organ. I think it's appalling that in this state, families for all their selfish reasons can deny their loved ones states wish to donate their organs.
In Pennsylvania, if you as an individual register for organ donation when you fill out your organ donor slot on your drivers license, NO family member may overide this decision that is your own!!!!
So maybe the lawmakers need to concentrate on such issues rather than silly ones like banning the "bodies" exhibit which doesn't affect the people of Hawaii
Bob

Wailuku, HI

#7 Feb 15, 2009
1) You cannot give "money" for organs. This is unethical and would result in people in these hard times trying to sell their organs for money. Can you imagine family members killing off their loved ones to donate their organs? Also it create's a potential market for the rich to get organs over the poor.
2) The image of organ donation has been RUINED by irresponsible TV shows, live Grey's Anatomy etc. The organ donation system is very fair and doesn't discriminate. Hospitals dont sell organs for profit or give it to their friends.
3) Not sure how you would determine that your recipient will not be a mass murderer. There are screening that look at things like compliance to medication, substance abuse etc. I guess we have to just have some faith that someone will look at their Gift of LIfe as second chance.
Mike

United States

#8 Feb 15, 2009
Spam meat is most consumed in the state of Hawaii. This man from New York told me that he was surprised that Hawaii loves Spam. We all know that this canned meat also contains high amounts of salt. The kidneys must work extra hard to filter out this salt. Still want to eat Spam? See you on dialysis.
LEGAL immigrant

Wadsworth, NV

#10 Feb 15, 2009
Andy Parx wrote:
No one here- or in the article- mentions one reason many do not donate- they can’t be assured it will be used for medically necessary transplants and not things like cosmetic surgery and other very profitable tissue harvesting by companies to make questionable products which is very common... or even exhibited in Ala Moana.
If there was a separate registry for major organ donation only and people could be assured that no one was profiting from their tissues then there might be more participation.
Andy, I am reminded of the book (and movie) COMA; a doctor was killing healthy young women while they were in the hospital under his care (and hanging them like sides of beef in a warehouse)so that the 'good doctor' could harvest the organs for the highest bidder..... makes me shudder!!

20/20 or a similar program also did a story about healthy people (in Pakistan, I believe) who actually did sell their organs (and parents selling the organs of their young children)- and it is legal in that country to do so.
Organ Donor

Honolulu, HI

#11 Feb 15, 2009
Unless the organ donor is about to die in a hospital and the organ recepient and transplant surgical teams are already standing by at that hospital, the donated organs may not be saved. Furthermore, when an organ donor dies at home or some remote place other than a hospital, it may further reduce the chance of saving and transplanting the organs.
Democrat

Hilo, HI

#12 Feb 15, 2009
Make sure you target the real guilty man here when it comes to people dying of needed organs -- George W Bush. It's not enough that he destroyed the US economy all the while pocketing millions for himself, but he also destroyed the hopes of those with cancer and other terminal illnesses by banning stem cell research.
mtshawaii

Honolulu, HI

#13 Feb 15, 2009
Instead of opting in to the donor program, why don't we have people automatically registered and have them opt out if they don't want to donate their organs? It certainly would save more lives.

Thanks to Yale's Barry Nalebuff for this idea via the Yale podcast. Genius!
mrs bumpy kanahele

Lihue, HI

#14 Feb 16, 2009
Bob wrote:
1) You cannot give "money" for organs. This is unethical and would result in people in these hard times trying to sell their organs for money. Can you imagine family members killing off their loved ones to donate their organs? Also it create's a potential market for the rich to get organs over the poor.
2) The image of organ donation has been RUINED by irresponsible TV shows, live Grey's Anatomy etc. The organ donation system is very fair and doesn't discriminate. Hospitals dont sell organs for profit or give it to their friends.
3) Not sure how you would determine that your recipient will not be a mass murderer. There are screening that look at things like compliance to medication, substance abuse etc. I guess we have to just have some faith that someone will look at their Gift of LIfe as second chance.
amen to everything said here! thank you!

there are countries where the sale of organs is legal. condemned criminals in china are organ "donors" (if you can call them that) for transplant tourism, for example. in canada and in the US and many other countries, transplant centers will not provide follow up care to those who have bought their organs. US physicians cannot refuse to give emergency care, but they can refuse regular follow up care in situations like this. it's an ethical stance the american medical community has taken to help discourage the trafficking of organs.
mrs bumpy kanahele

Lihue, HI

#15 Feb 16, 2009
Andy Parx wrote:
No one here- or in the article- mentions one reason many do not donate- they can’t be assured it will be used for medically necessary transplants and not things like cosmetic surgery and other very profitable tissue harvesting by companies to make questionable products which is very common... or even exhibited in Ala Moana.
If there was a separate registry for major organ donation only and people could be assured that no one was profiting from their tissues then there might be more participation.
there is a donor registry. organ donorship is a very closely monitored and regulated part of the healthcare industry. google UNOS.
Dr L Wong-transplant MD

AOL

#16 Feb 16, 2009
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions on organ donation so let me try to sort them out.
1. Donation of organs in the US is a gift of pure altruism. We do not sell organs. Transplants in the US are highly regulated by UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing)--a group that includes transplant professionals, administrators, patients, donor families, and interested public members.
2. Organ donation will not occur unless the treating physicians have done everything possible to save that person.
3. Organs transplants are life saving. Tissue can also be used for important medical reasons, reconstructive surgery for bone/tendons and can vastly improve the quality of life for many.
We realize that these are tough economic times, but this should not change our ability to save lives when we can. More than 100,000 people are waiting for organs in the US and 400+ are waiting in Hawaii.
Every day, I watch patients get sicker and die while waiting for organs.
Think about this and how you may one day have the opportunity to save a life. Share your decision with your family.
I've signed my organ donor card and I hope you will too.
alice

Honolulu, HI

#17 Feb 16, 2009
Dr. Wong is spot-on.
alice

Ewa Beach, HI

#18 Feb 16, 2009
A volunteer, is there a volunteer in the house?
Yanghai Shaman

Honolulu, HI

#19 Feb 18, 2009
Organ donation will not occur unless the treating physicians have done everything possible to save that person.

How do we know that the physicians interest will be saving the person.
What is the doctors dilemma? To save an organ donor who was in an near fatal accident or take out their organs before they can recover to save another person waiting for an organ transplant?

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