Monday, August 16, 2010

The Gift of Life?

I'm just going to put it out there : organ donation. Will you or wont you? It seems like organ donation has been a hot topic in my little sphere the last few days, and it prompted me to thinking.

So will you or wont you ? For the record, I am on the Australian Organ Donor Registry as wanting to be an organ donor in the event of my death - i'll donate everything but my corneas ( which face it, arent all that good to me, so they arent really going to be much use to anyone else). Heart, liver, lungs, kidneys... whatever i have that will help, they can take. I might save one life, or half a dozen; all i know is that i'm not going to need my organs where i'm going ( wherever that may be ) so i'd like for them to help someone else live a good life. So, my mind is pretty much made up on the subject - in regards to myself. What got me to thinking was a Facebook status update from one of my friends, saying that everyone in her family was on the Registry. She confirmed for me, yes - even her kids. Her kids? She'd already made that decision? I wondered if i could do the same.

My son is only 7 and half months old - i dont even want to entertain the idea of having to give his organs away. In truth, i dont think i could i do what my friend has done. I dont think i could make that kind of decision without being in need of HAVING to make it. And, if i'm honest, i dont know that i would be able to give the doctors a "yes" if, and when, they asked.

Its fine for me to be happy to donate my own organs, but somehow its different when considering my baby. I know that theoretically my gorgeous son would be helping to save the life of another beautiful baby, someone elses pride and joy. But i dont know whether that thought would outweigh the idea of my baby being disected, his body being desecrated in someway. That might sound drastic, but i think thats how my mind would work, in that kind of situation. However, i wont know for sure until i have to walk in those shoes. Hopefully, i never will.... unlike my parents. For those of you who are not long time readers of this blog, let me elaborate: i had a younger brother, who died Christmas Eve of 1989. He was almost 2 years old, i was almost 6. He was struck, very suddenly, by menigitis and there was just no time ( and no resources in our country town ) to do anything to save him. My parents said no to donating his organs. I do not judge them in anyway for that decision. I know that my brother could have helped save the lives of a handful of other infants, but my parents could not, in the cold light of day, face the thought of having their little boy " chopped up " ( my fathers words not mine ). So, until i face something similar, i reserve the decision of donating my sons organs ( though not Micks - he has chosen not donate ) for a later date.

I like to think that my friend there on Facebook has made a brave decision, but somewhere in the back of my mind i cant help but think, in regards to her children, it may be a little rash. So how about you? Do you intend on donating your organs, and have you made those intentions clear to your loved ones?


  1. Such a thoughtful post. I am definitely an organ donor but in terms of my babies, I don't know what I would do, and hopefully will never have to know.

  2. Brilliant post Amy. A whole different perspective on something I though I knew all about...

  3. I'm registered as a organ donor and my family know my wishes. I have to say that I haven't thought about what I would do in Piglet's case. If I'm honest it's not something I want to think about, even though I know I should. The thought makes me recoil but thinking about another family desperately hoping for their baby to be saved...

  4. That's interesting - I tried to put my son (1.5 years old at the time) on the registry, but I was told that I wasn't able to; that basically it was only an option available for older children with parental consent, but that I would be able to give my consent if the situation arose.

    How old are your Facebook friend's kids? If they're comparable in age, I might check again as I am very eager to have his organs donated if he dies early.

  5. Oh, and to answer your question, this xkcd pretty much sums it up for me: