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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) 

How to get off the organ donor registry

The other night I got an email from someone and they asked me how to get off the Organ Donor registry. They were not the first to ask. I suspect that to happen as more people find out the truth about “brain death”… that you are still alive when you are pronounced “brain dead”.

First, rescinding your desire to donate your organs at the DMV or Secretary of State is NOT enough,you will still be on the organ donor registry.

Revocation is not enough, you must document a Refusal. 

The Revised Anatomical Gift Act, Section 8, takes away from families the right or authority to consent to, amend or revoke anatomical donations made by others during their lifetimes, even though alert relatives might make different decisions based on current circumstances and complete information of their loved ones. Byrne,Paul.M.D. Do Your Organs Belong To The Government. 2012

The Revised Anatomical Gift Act states that a revocation of an anatomical gift “does not equal a refusal.” If you change your mind and want to get off the organ registry; you not only have to revoke your prior anatomical gift, but also issue a Formal Refusal. 

How to Write a Formal Refusal

1) Write or type up a letter, (two copies) stating you no longer want to be on the Organ Donation Registry.

2)  Have it signed by two witnesses, have it sign by a notary and send to your Regional Organ Procurement Organization.

3)  Keep a copy for yourself. Take it with you when you travel. It has to be put in YOUR file at the hospital if you are ever injured and can not speak for yourself.

4)  Have it accessible to other family members.

If you have registered in two or more states and change your mind about donation, be sure to remove yourself from ALL donor registries.

One other thing, tell your family and friends of your decision, why you are not going to be an Organ Donor. They will be asked “what you would have wanted if you are on a ventilator.

Classes of People

The Revised Anatomical Gift Act allows for certain “classes” of people to make the decision to harvest your organs if you have not donated.

Permission descends from the highest class of people to the next and so forth when a search is done for someone who is “reasonably available”. They did not define “reasonably available” in the Act.

That list includes the person’s health care agent, adult grandchildren and close friends.

One of my friends son’s was hit by a car walking home from work in Ann Arbor. The doctors at U of M told her he was “brain death”, to pull the plug and harvest his organs. She called me up two years ago before I knew anything about “brain death” and ask me to pray with her and what she should do.

We prayed together and then I said, ” _______ you are ______ mom, you know best…go with your gut.”

She refused to take him off life support. Then they started asking his friends, “Did _____ ever tell you he didn’t want to be on life support?”

My friend’s son is fine, walks, talks and works. I’m interviewing them and will be doing a blog post on what they experienced.

Thank God I gave her that answer as I didn’t understand one thing about “brain death” at that time. I post a lot of Friday success stories yet you really don’t hear much about them in the United States. I have a recent one coming on Friday that is mind-blowing.

Here are the cards you need to sign, get notarized and “carry” with you.

Print this card and carry it with you

Back side of card

I can send them to you in a pdf file on how to preserve and protect life and sign a refusal for easier printing if you email me or ask for me to send it to you in a comment below.

Better yet go to Life Guardian Foundation and download it.