ORGAN DONATION MYTHS AND FACTS:

MYTH:  Children are being kidnapped so that their kidneys and other organs can be donated and sold.
FACT:  False! Before anybody can be an organ donor, a thorough screening and medical evaluation must be performed. Generally, pediatric organs are not medically suitable for adult patients who are mostly affected by organ failure.

MYTH:  If I agree to donate my organs by carrying an organ donor card, the hospital staff won’t work as hard to save my life.
FACT:  False! It is your doctor’s obligation and oath to save your life. When you go to the hospital for treatment, you will be seen by a doctor whose specialty matches your particular emergency need.

MYTH:  Maybe I won’t really be dead when they sign my death certificate.
FACT:  False! Before a patient is declared to be brain dead, several medical criteria and examinations have to be performed and must be duly certified by your physician.

MYTH:  Organ donation after death is against my religion.
FACT:  False! Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most religions. This includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faiths. If you are unsure of or uncomfortable with your faith’s position on organ donation, you may ask a member of your clergy.

MYTH:  I’m under age 18. I’m too young to make this decision to donate at the time of my death.
FACT:  This is true in a legal sense. But your parents can authorize this decision for you to become
a deceased organ donor at the time of your death. You can express beforehand an advance directive through your parents.

MYTH:  I’m too old to donate. Maybe nobody would want my organs at the time of my death.
FACT:  False! Most patients who suffer from any organ failure belong to the older age group. Besides, chronologic age is not as important as biologic age. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria and not by virtue of age.

MYTH:  There will be body disfigurement when I donate my organs and I cannot have an open-casket funeral.
FACT:  False! Deceased organ donors are treated with respect.
Organs or tissues may be replaced with corresponding prosthesis to preserve the body’s original figure. Organ and tissue donation should not interfere with having an open-casket funeral. Generally, there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation.

MYTH:  I’m not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues when I pass away.
FACT:  False! Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating your organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but your other organs and tissues may be qualified.
 

MYTH:  My family will be charged more hospital bills if I donate my organs because it will be preserved.
FACT: False! Generally, organ procuring organizations will cover expenses directly related to organ procurement.

Reference: Makati Medical Center (Transplant Unit)