Sometimes, myths and misperceptions about organ, eye, and tissue donation can prevent someone from signing up. Imagine the lives we could save if everyone knew the true facts about donation!
Myth: I cannot save many lives with organ and tissue donation.
Fact: One person with his tissues can impact the lives of 50 people and one organ donor can save up to eight lives.
Myth: Organ failures only affect the rich.
Fact: It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 patients in India that are suffering from organ failure and are waiting for organ transplants. Each year, more than 500,000 people need lifesaving organs and 12 million need sight saving corneas, and more than 5 million need tissues (skin, bone, heart valves, tendons and ligaments).
Myth: Organs can be donated in any form of death.
Fact: Donation only happens only after declaration of brain death by a panel of four doctors who are not associated with organ transplant.
Myth: There is no established system/method of organ distribution in India.
Fact: Organs are distributed through an organ sharing registry and the distribution is done by the state government authorities based on the severity of illness, time spent on the waiting list, and blood type.
Myth: Patients that are rich and influential will get organs easily
Fact: Socio-economic status of a person has no influence on receiving an organ for transplant. Organs are distributed according to strict guidelines.
Myth: My body will get disfigured after organ donation.
Fact: Organ retrieval is done by experienced surgeons and the donor’s body will never be disfigured and all the funeral rituals can be performed.
Myth: Donor’s family has to bear all the expenses related to organ & tissue donation.
Fact: Donor’s family does not bear the expenses related to organ or tissue donation.
Myth: Does my religion support organ donation.
Fact: All major religions (Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Hebrew and Sikhism) support donation.
Myth: If I donate my eyes or organs, I may go be born blind or handicapped in the next life.
Fact: Gifting life or sight to someone is a divine gesture and only a person with a lot of greatness in his/her heart can do. How can such a kind-hearted person be handicapped in the next birth? This myth has stemmed out of ignorance and is a complete misconception.
Myth: My organs will be sold for price.
Fact: Organ donation is a noble cause. Buying and selling of organs in India is a punishable crime with jail up to 7 years.
Myth: Success rate of organ donation is low.
Fact: The success rate for organ transplants is gradually increasing and it is between 80 and 90 percent worldwide.
Myth: I have diabetes/hypertension, can I donate organs?
Fact: You can donate your organs even if you have a history of diabetes or hypertension. The doctors at the time of donation will perform tests on the organ functioning and then only harvest organs that are healthy.
Myth: I am too old to be a donor.
Fact: There is no age limit to organ donation provided that the organs are functioning well. The youngest donor was only 100 hours old and the oldest was of age 93 years.
Myth: If I am in coma or unconscious, they could take my organs.
Fact: Organ donation is only permitted in patients who are declared brain dead. Brain death in India is declared by a panel of four doctors that are not connected with the transplants. People can recover from coma but brain death is death.