Published: Tuesday, March 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Some of us who are older or may be taking medications that prevent us from
becoming organ donors, may also consider bequeathing our bodies to the medical
school's cadaver lab. It's a simple process that can be accomplished
easily. We who are potential donors carry a small wallet card that instructs
our wishes when the time comes.Although it may seem somewhat
macabre, it is a vital part of teaching future doctors and others who will enter
health professions. I was a teacher most of my life, and when I finally head
for Valhalla, I will be able to teach a little longer.And it will
save my family the cost of a funeral.
Thank you, Lois, for sharing this heartwarming story. I'm so happy that
you and your family were spared from the heartbrake that many feel each day with
the premature loss of a loved one. And thanks to "one old
man" for raising an issue about organ docnation. I have established myself
as an organ donor on my driver's license but I am also one of those
"who are older or may be taking medications that prevent us from becoming
organ donors." I'm not sure what the definition of "older " is
in this case but I am in my 60th year on earth and I take a fist full of pills
each day that do a variety of things to prolong my life. I'll have to
check that situation out.Thanks to both of you.
ECR - check with your local blood bank. If you are not eligible to donate blood
or plasma, your organs probably cannot be used. Or ask your doctor.
Thank you Lois for sharing your family's experience. Organ transplant
affects not only the recipient's life, but the life of everyone who cares
about that person. I'm so glad your girls still have their father.
I do want to clear up a common misconception. You could still be eligible
to donate organs even if you are not able to donate blood. Please do not rule
yourself out as an organ donor based on your ability to donate blood or the
medications you take. People have the potential to be an organ donor up to about
age 80. In fact the oldest organ donor in the U.S. was a 92 year old who was
able to donate a liver. Visit the Utah Donor Registry to learn more about organ
one old man - up until last April I was giving blood on a regular basis. Then I
was diagnosed with prostate cancer. So I got that taken care of in November. A
friend and colleague who had the same thing 3 years ago tells me the blood bank
"officially" says you have to be cancer free for 5 years but
"unofficially" they say it is a shorter time. So I'll check with
them. So far so good!
I just asked a doctor and she said it depends upon what medications you are
taking. Mine is an immuno-suppresant that would not be good at all for someone
already in trouble. She said there is some reluctance to use some organs from
older people because they may be "worn out." But again, that depends on
some other factors.In short, she said, ask your own physician
because we are all different.I learned a few things today, too.
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