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Are you an organ donor?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 13, 2008

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Photo of Julie Ward

“Yes, although I haven’t donated one yet. But I would donate one if I wasn’t using it.”

Photo of Kurt Weaver

“No. I guess I didn’t become one the first time I got my license. They never ask if me about it at the DMV, so I’ve never thought to change it.”

Photo of Kaitie Pestock

“No I am not. I’m kind of worried that doctors won’t be as apt to save me if they know my organs could save all these other people. They probably don’t want them anyway - at least not the liver.”

Photo of Will Martin

“Yes. I feel like anyone should be able to have these beautiful organs once I’m done with them. When I die they’ll live on in some beautiful person.”


jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

What, like the liberal media? Biggest conspiracy theory I've ever seen.

As for me, I've already donated my spine and brain stem to Archimedes Xaxon v3.2, and that seems to be working out. I hope he wins at least one primary, though. I've found through trial and error, though, that organic tissue makes a much better conductor for movement impulses than any mechanical simulation that I've been able to cook up so far. Certainly, the synthetic spine and brain stem that I put in myself to replace the real ones are much more jerky than the natural fit was.

H_Lecter 10 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes I feel like a Pilgrim at Thanksgiving...always grateful for a bountiful harvest.

Dixie Jones 10 years, 1 month ago

im leaning more towards donating but im scared i wont be dead when they go to take em out,,,, lol i love julies comment she hasnt done it yet..... i sorta think shes joking but then again i look and shes blonde..... have a great day all everyone play nice in here today !

Flap Doodle 10 years, 1 month ago

I have a piano I'm not using anymore.....

ohjayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I just looked at my driver's license because I remember telling them I wanted to be an organ donor, and it took me a while to find where it was listed. There is a little logo on the right bottom corner of the front of the license. So, I guess I am.

Also, you don't have to be dead to be an organ donor. One can donate a kidney, a lung, or a partial liver or pancreas while still living.

lunacydetector 10 years, 1 month ago

yes i am. i know someone who can see because of an organ donor.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 1 month ago

lol i love julies comment she hasnt done it yet:.. i sorta think shes joking but then again i look and shes blonde

Remember, you don't need to be dead to donate a kidney.

acg 10 years, 1 month ago

You know what they say about assuming....that when you assume, you're an a**hole. Isn't that how it goes?

And yes, I'm an organ donor. Not presently, but when I'm dead, for sure. They can have every viable organ they can get and then they can give the rest to science so students can study what happens to the human body when you spend a lifetime giving it transfat, jack daniels and marlboro's as a constant diet.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 1 month ago

well you do not need to be dead to donate you can live with one kidney so Julies comment makes sense to me but is also funny first time thru. Yes I am listed as a donor.

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

My cousin was an organ donor. He died so young at 20 in a freak accident, but his eyes and skin tissue were donated.
If he could do it at a young age, then so can I!

coolmom 10 years, 1 month ago

i so feel like i should restrain myself from having fun with this question....giggle. so seriously yes i am proud to be listed as an organ donor if something happens to me and someone else needs my organs and more importantly my family knows my wishes.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 1 month ago

Can you afford a new organ? Can we? I could maybe spring for a cornea.

AdamG09 10 years, 1 month ago

People are either going to say, "here's another kid with a fake ID," or "here's McLovin, the 25-year old organ donor from Hawaii."

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

I've already given a kidney to my nephew, but I plan on living to be 103, so I don't know if the rest will be of any use to anyone by then. If they're still good, I hope it will help someone.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago

The_Original_Bob (Anonymous) says: It's sort of amazing that in two thousand and eight that people still have Katie's viewpoint regarding doctors killing you off to harvest your organs.

Call me jaded, but I've come to expect this out of people, anymore...

Did anyone else laugh out loud when Katie said they probably wouldn't want her liver? You have to give her points for brutal honesty. I bet she delivered that line in a deadpan sorta way...

dajudge 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm a donor acceptor. I went to the goat gland doctor and it's working fine now.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

Be an organ donor. And if (God forbid) you should have a family member in an accident, and the doctors start talking about organ donation -- say YES!!!

It's so sad to see someone's family say no when you know that the deceased could help 3 - 5 people live. I know it's a time that's sad beyond belief, but there is no better way to honor your loved ones than letting them save the lives of others in their final hours.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago

right_thinker (Anonymous) says: BTW, I've always been a donor:.donate blood too. Just think, some liberal may be walking around with some rich, pure Anglo, Republican pumping through his or her veins.

Not trying to be rude, but why do you always turn everything into a liberal vs conservative issue? I doubt anyone who is the beneficiary of your generous donation gives a flying f#ck about your political stance. I'm just sayin...

daveundis 10 years, 1 month ago

About 50% of the organs transplanted in America go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die. As long as we let non-donors jump to the front of the waiting list if they need a transplant we'll always have an organ shortage.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago

r_t :

Hahahaha! My bad for not recognizing outstanding comedy when I see it! Maybe, just would be amusing, if it wasn't the same thing all the time. But, the irony about it - is that it probably would bother the heck out of you if you were knowingly a recipient of lifeblood from a liberal. Now that, DOES make me laugh!

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry for my tacky comment, r_t. The important thing is that you're encouraging people to donate blood - a worthy cause! I do applause that and am genuinely sorry for my comments.

I just don't understand why people feel the need to attack others' for political beliefs...and it gets me a bit worked up. Liberals, conservatives...they'll never agree. I for one, tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum...not that it matters in the grand scheme of things.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago, why can't we edit our comments? ;-)

gccs14r 10 years, 1 month ago

Count me among the people who don't want to be harvested prematurely. If there are humans making the decisions and profit is involved, there is too great a chance that someone of means can make something happen that shouldn't. I don't want to be a victim.

spammer89 10 years, 1 month ago

Legalize clones then you have all the organs you would ever need.

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

r_t, when my two went to get their permits, they were asked that, too, and the eldest one didn't hestitate, as she knew exactly what it was. The younger one was a little freaked out at first, but agreed because she knew how many people could be saved after her/our cousin died.

Marcy McGuffie 10 years, 1 month ago

Lol. I remember that feeling as a kid, getting my learner's permit. I said "yes" right away, because I knew it was the right thing to do...but, I had this sinking feeling in my stomach. Now, I don't think a thing about it... knowing it's the selfless thing to do. R_T - I'm sorry about your dad, but it sounds like you didn't even hesitate for the donation to made. That's awesome - I wish more people would make that decision!

LMAO @ the Michael Moore/Al Gore statement! ;-) You just can't help yourself, can you?

sgtwolverine 10 years, 1 month ago

blue, in Over the Rhine's imaginary musical government, John Prine runs the FBI.

(Scroll to the last song.)

sunflower_sue 10 years, 1 month ago

Yep! I've got the little red heart on my DL to prove it. I've already donated two placentas...(we weren't using them anymore).

I've known donors and receipients, both. As far as I'm concerned, it's a "win-win." I have no fear of being "harvested" early and if that is ever the case, I'm sure I won't give a whole lot of thought to it then, either.

Dorothy, I applaud you! That is a truly amazing gift!!

sdinges 10 years, 1 month ago

You know, I almost was, but when I mentioned it to my mother, she said she was not very comfortable with it. I didn't really feel strongly enough to cause unneeded discomfort to my mom if I died before her. I always figured if my family wants to donate my innards, they can decide to do so when they decide to pull the plug.

I recently saw an Oprah episode about this and it was pointed out that beyond just signing your card, you really should speak to your family members and make your wishes/opinions clear. When people are grieving your inevitable loss, it can be really hard for them to make decisions about whether or not to donate, no matter what your driver's license says. But if you've spoken with them about it, it is much easier for them to know what you'd want for sure - because you told them!

jumpin_catfish 10 years, 1 month ago

My sister's life has been extended because someone donated their organs. Please be an organ donor, it could make all the difference to someone.

George_Braziller 10 years, 1 month ago

Yes I am. Harvest what they want and burn the rest. I won't need any of it.

LogicMan 10 years, 1 month ago

"Are you an organ donor?"

Not yet -- I still need them. :-)

Godot 10 years, 1 month ago

Nope. They kept my brain-dead sister on life-support for 5 days just so they could harvest her organs. I feel like I already gave.

Godot 10 years, 1 month ago

.....besides, who would want them? The warranty has expired.

Godot 10 years, 1 month ago

It was in Chicago. She had a "spell" on her 39th birthday. Died in the ER, but they intubated and kept her body alive for her corneas. Of course, they did not tell us she was dead, or why they were keeping her alive. Her husband must have known, but he was not forthcoming.

We sat by her bedside and prayed and held her lifeless hand, hoping for a miracle. For days. For corneas. Then came the time to remove the tube, and we learned why she had been kept alive, as a zombie, so someone else could see. It was little comfort.

We had two funerals: one in Chicago, for her friends and co-workers; one in Kansas for her family. It really was a funeral for her family.

Godot 10 years, 1 month ago

I believe each of us should be accorded dignity in death, and that we should not be pressured, while living, into acceeding to the prospect of being scavenged for our recyclable parts.

TongieMom 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm a donor.

Keep in don't have to be dead to can SHARE YOUR SPARE kidney with someone in need of transplant.


denak 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm a donor. The way I figure it is that I'm not going to need them when I die so might as well give them to someone who will need them. To me it is just a selfish waste to not donate.

My son is visually impaired. He goes to KSSB. There isn't an organ that can make him see but by donating my corneas after I am dead, maybe some other person can see. Maybe one of his classmates. So why not do it?


simplykristib 10 years, 1 month ago

I have registered to become an organ donor. I have made my wishes known with my family. I registered right after I found out that my oldest brother needs a kidney transplant.

You don't have to be dead to donate organs.. You can donate part of your liver and lungs. You can also donate an entire kidney.

I think that godot's problem with sister... The hospital. It sounds like your sister was brain-dead. They have to confirm thru various tests. They just can't pull the plug. I saw my mom's best friend go thru this after her massive stroke. She was kept alive for five days while the doctors determined if her brain was functioning or not. On the sixth day, the family was going thru the agonizing decision of taking her off life support when she suddenly decided to take a turn for the worse and made the decision for them. (I was the last one in my family to visit her the night before she passed away... I was back there with her niece who died seven months later of a brain anuerism.)

denak 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm not a doctor so perhaps a doctor can explain this process better but I know that hospitals have to keep the person "alive" in order to keep the organs viable. There is a short window of opportunity once a persons dies and when his or her organs can be harvested. If you don't harvest within that time, the organs go to waste. Plus, you have to notify the recepient, hope that they don't have a cold or something that will disqualify them, find the next person if need be, and then wait for the person to get to the hospital and then prep the person. All of that takes time and if we allow the deceased to "die" then those organs would go to waste so sometimes keeping someone on life support after they are dead, is what the hospital has to do in order to buy time for the recepient(s).

Also, sometime during this process, the family/spouse of the donor, is visited by an organ donor representative to go through the process. The hospital just doesn't start digging into the person. The donor represenative answers any questions the family has regarding religious dictates, what the corpse looks like afterwards, or any other they have. The hospital tries to make this process as easy as possible for the spouse/family.

Lastly, there is a movement growing where families of the donor can meet the people who get the organs. This seems to be something more and more people are opening up to and it seems to have a very positive impact on the grieving relatives as well as the people who recieved the organs.


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