Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sign your donor cards

This is the website of a family friend who is participating in a live liver donation to another family friend:

And here is a breakdown of religious attitudes to donation.

And here are some FAQs from the Trillium Gift of Life website (which is here:

Why should I donate my organs and tissue?

Your decision to donate could save a life. There is a chronic shortage of organs and tissue in Ontario and the need for organs and tissue continues to outweigh their availability. More than 1,700 Ontarians are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and many others are waiting for a tissue transplant.

If I have indicated my decision for organ donation, will everything be done to save my life?

The first and foremost concern for healthcare professionals caring for critically ill patients is to do everything possible to save lives. The possibility of donation is only considered when all lifesaving efforts have failed. The health care professional teams responsible for supporting donation are separate and independent from the health care professional teams responsible for transplantation.

When does organ and tissue donation become an option?

Living organ donation may be an option for a healthy adult who has a family member or close friend in need of a kidney, liver, lung or small bowel transplant. With living donation, a kidney or portion of the liver, lung or small bowel is removed from the donor and transplanted into the patient in need of a new organ.

Deceased organ donation can take place when someone has been declared brain dead, a doctor has determined the organs can be used for transplant, and loved ones opt to artificially maintain vital organs by ventilator to keep them suitable for transplant. This type of donation is referred to as donation after neurological determination of death.

Another option for donation is organ donation after cardiac death (DCD). DCD offers families the option of donation in cases where neurological criteria for death have not been met, and the decision to withdraw life-sustaining treatment has been made. A DCD patient has no hope of survival or meaningful functional status, but does not meet brain death criteria. In Europe and the United States, DCD has been an option for families for over thirty years. In Ontario, the option of organ donation after cardiac death will be piloted in select hospitals over the next year.

Tissue donation can take place in most cases when someone has died, as long as the tissue is determined suitable for transplant by a doctor. With tissue donation, there is no need for blood flow to be maintained by artificial ventilation after death.

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