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Combating popular organ donation myths with facts and the law

In honor of DPS Trooper Walker
Donate Life America (Facebook) Carrie Torney.PNG
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 19:13:29-04

AUSTIN, TX — Sometimes, the idea of organ donation can strike people as rather scary or even as science-fiction.

However, at the time of this publication, an estimated 113,000 people in the United States are still waiting for their match every day.

So, how do you become the match they need? And... are there any truths to popular rumors regarding the entire process?

Myth #1: Doctors are less likely to save you if you're a registered organ donor

As stated by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, "when you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed."

Myth #2: My family won't be able to have an open casket funeral if I'm a donor

As stated by the HRSA, "an open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors.Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity."

Myth #3: People in the LGBTQIA+ community can't donate

At the time of this publication, there is no policy or federal regulation in the United States that excludes a member of the LGBTQIA+ community from donating organs. Rather, the health of the organs are always viewed by a case by case scenario.

Myth #4: Most religions don't condone organ donation

According to the official DMV website, most major religions allow organ donation. A few of these religions, include:

  • Catholicism
  • Lutheran Church
  • Mormonism
  • Judaism
  • Episcopal Church
  • Presbyterian Church

However, it's also recommended that if you are still unsure if organ donation is consistent with your personal faith, you may wish to speak with a religious leader for clarification.

Myth #5: My organs will be sold on the black market

Under the federal National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA), found in Title 42, section 274e of the U.S. Code, anyone convicted of buying or selling human organs in the United States faces a five-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

Following the language of said law, it is a federal crime for any individual to "knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer" a human organ.

Indeed, while checking yes to being an organ donor can feel like a real heavy decision. By choosing to donate life, people are preventing the heavy decisions many families are left with when there are no other options... when there are no matching donors.

On March 26, DPS Trooper Walker was gunned down while serving on the active line of duty. A registered organ donor, Trooper Walker chose to serve his community until the very end.

For more information on how to register to become an organ donor, read here.

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