It makes me sad to say this, because I believe in organ donation, but I’ve gone to California’s Remove Me From the Registry website and taken my name off the list of organ donors. The decision was made after watching the gradual loss of our medical system’s culture of the sanctity of human life.
I’m thinking about this right now because of a horrifying story from Central New York about a woman taken to the emergency room in 2009 for a drug overdose, who was very nearly cut up for parts, only she woke up just before they got going.
What makes this so disturbing, and what got the hospital fined (a mere) $6,000.00, is that “Although a nurse told doctors that Burns was recovering from her overdose, those same doctors pronounced her dead.” Then they called her family and got permission to take her organs. However, “when a nurse performed a mandatory reflex test on Burns, her toes curled downward. She appeared to be breathing independently of a hospital respirator, and her lips and tongue were said to have moved moments before doctors prepared to remove her organs”
Yet, in the face of all these indications that a serious mistake was being made, “the nurse then followed instructions to give Burns a powerful sedative, a seemingly unnecessary move if the patient were actually dead.”
Fortunately, before they began harvesting her organs, the overdose victim woke up and they called the whole thing off. You should read the Yahoo story about this incident – it’s a cautionary tale.
I’m afraid I’m wondering how many people don’t wake up in time…..and just thinking about that induced me to make different arrangements for donating my organs. I don’t want decisions about my life and death to be made by faceless strangers who don’t love me and who definitely have priorities other than MY well-being in mind. So, I’ve decided to take care of a possible future when I can’t speak for myself by filling out The Will To Live, and NOT a “Living Will”, or the sort of generic “advance directives” that doctors and hospitals try to get us to sign.
I hope that you’ll at least go to the Q&A page, and see if it makes sense to you. The stakes couldn’t be higher.