Edited, v 2.0, April 11, 2020
Continued from Part 2
Back to the Ontario organ donation website:
Under the heading:
How do I register if I live in Ontario, but don’t have an Ontario health card?
. . . When someone passes away and donation is possible, an Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator will approach families . . . .
So this is just to note that there is such a coordinator who approaches families. This question and answer seems to imply that they can get permission from family members even if you haven’t registered, but it’s not clear to me. I think everyone should be careful.
One question that comes up is whether the funds to pay the coordinator’s salary are coming from the same or different source than the salaries of doctors treating the patient. Is the Trillium Gift of Life Network funded by the government only or also by private sources?
Just to comment here that keeping a patient alive is a different function than singling out a body and making sure it’s ready for organ donation. Those are two different goals.
So one part of that is I’m just wondering how the Ontario government sees its role as appropriate in encouraging organ donation. Maybe it should try to be neutral and factual–rather than being a cheerleader for it. Isn’t it more like someone promoting a particular medical procedure, pharmaceutical drug or medical device? Isn’t that more appropriate for sales people or professionals involved who are convinced of its value?
But with our system, governments are funding many procedures that people could conceivably have objections to. And what are the reasons that governments fund certain procedures and products or services that are controversial (or uncontroversial) as opposed to other procedures that might save more lives or treat more illnesses more effectively? Are they following strict “scientific” criteria, or particular directives from private groups or philosophical visions that are outside of government? How are those decisions made and on what basis? Shouldn’t there be a diversity of input from competing systems of medicine and competing religious and philosophical views, or even better, from the people democratically–instead of from corporate foundations involved in social engineering and monopolizing control over medical science and the direction in which it goes?
What is involved in the organ donation process and how long will donation take?
When an Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator is preparing to speak with a family about donation, they will access the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care database to see if their loved one was a registered donor. That information would be shared with the family and they would be asked to reaffirm that choice. Once consent is given, medical tests are completed to determine what organs and tissues are suitable for transplant. The organs are then matched with someone on the transplant wait list and surgery takes place in an operating room at the hospital. The entire donation process, from the time the family agrees to move forward with donation to recovery, takes about 24 to 36 hours to complete.
Note the short time period of 24 to 36 hours.
Can my family overrule my decision to donate?
When you register your consent to donate, this information is recorded and stored in a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database. Your decision will only be accessed should there be potential for donation, and your status as a registered donor will be shared with your family. It is Trillium Gift of Life Network‘s practice to reaffirm an individual’s consent to donate with the family. In most cases, families honour their loved ones’ decision to donate if they have evidence that it’s what they wanted.
So I’m noting the name of the organization in Ontario.
From this, I am not sure what would happen if the family objected to the donation even if their loved one was registered (there is information about this later). And again, I’m not sure what would happen if the person was not registered and the family was asked and said yes. The organ donation organization has its practices. The relevant legislation may be clearer as to what could happen legally.
How do you know if my organs and tissue are suitable to donate?
. . . assessed at the time of death . . . every organ is tested for suitability to ensure that as many people as possible can be helped . . .
Note that there can be multiple organs removed for different transplant operations (or for research if that was authorized).
The main concern I have with this statement is the phrase “time of death”?
They have been declared dead presumably using tests to confirm brain death and what do those tests involve? Also the body is kept on a type of life support to keep the organs healthy. I think there should be more of that kind of information in the FAQ. Are people left with a misleading impression if not informed about the whole story?
There are some details of interest in the last question:
What impact does organ donation have on funeral plans? Can I have an open casket at the funeral?
. . . When corneas are donated, typically the whole globe of the eye is removed. Funeral homes provide eye caps . . . A paper-thin layer of skin is removed from the back of the body . .
Continued: Part 4