Parents Have No Say If Children Sign the Organ Donor Card

July 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Parents have no say if the child signs the organ donor card.

I tried to tell you in a post written a few months ago that if your child or loved one is critically injured you have no say in refusing to have their organs harvested. A case in Columbus, Ohio reveals a recent example of this.

A 21-year-old Columbus man who had been declared legally dead but was on artificial life support had his organs harvested under court order yesterday over his family’s objections. You can read the story here on the Columbus Dispatch.

Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) clearly states that

  1. Minors if eligible under the law are embowered to be a donor. If the minor donor dies under the age of 18, it “seems appropriate that the minor’s parents should be able to revoke the gift.” However, the minor’s parents cannot revoke the anatomical gift if the minor donor later dies over the age of 18. In a state that provides that a license issued to a minor is good for five years and the minor applies for the license at age 17, the minor can make an anatomical gift on the driver’s license at age 17 and need not reaffirm the gift for another five years. Furthermore, once the minor reaches age 18, the minor’s parents cannot revoke the gift.
  2. Under Section 8 of the 2006 UAGA, which strengthens the language regarding the finality of a donor’s anatomical gift, it clearly states that “there is no reason to seek consent from the donor’s family because the family has no legal right to revoke the gift.”
  3. The UAGA exhorted the Organ Procurement agents to stop the practice the practice of seeking affirmation (ex. from parents, added by me) when the donor who has clearly made a gift.This results in unnecessary delays in procuring organs and the occasional reversal of the donor’s wishes.

Informed Consent

Secretary Of State office in Ann Arbor MichiganHow many teenagers understand that you are not really dead, when your organs are harvested? There are no brochures at the Secretary of State’s or Department of Motor Vehicles when you sign up to be an organ donor. It sounds altruistic, a good thing…but you are not informed that organs can not be taken from truly dead people, you are only given the diagnosis of “brain death” and no hope of recovery.

We see from the recent story that hit all major news outlets this past week that a woman opened her eyes while laying on the table just as her organs were about to be harvested, that hospitals and doctors do make mistakes.

What if that was your child?

What if you wanted to overturn the fact that your child’s organs not be taken because they were not informed?

After officials at Grant Medical Center notified Lifeline of Ohio of Smith’s wishes, Pamela and Rodney Smith said they didn’t want their son’s organs harvested. On Sunday, Pamela Smith, of the East Side, wrote to Grant and to Lifeline to say that the family did not consent to harvesting his organs because Elijah did not fully understand the choice he had made.

“We do not want our son to die like this,” she wrote. “We do not want our son to be an organ donor.”

But, they lost.

Their precious child was cut open and died on the operating table as you are very much alive when your organs are taken, the heart being the last organ to be taken.

How to Get Off the Organ Registry

Talk to your family members about what really happens in Organ Harvesting?

Download the card to protect and preserve your life, written by Dr. Paul Byrne of the Life Guardian Foundation.

Carry it at all times

Send a letter of refusal to the Organ Registry in your state and any state you may have signed up in.

***The photo is one I took in Ann Arbor at the Secretary of State office on Thursday, the girls behind the counter were all wearing badges encouraging people to sign up***  (no informed consent) 

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