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  • FIRST POST
    • MatthewAinsworth
    • By MatthewAinsworth 14th Jul 17, 3:59 PM
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    MatthewAinsworth
    Donate for transplant or research?
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 17, 3:59 PM
    Donate for transplant or research? 14th Jul 17 at 3:59 PM
    I'll be writing my will soon and I'd like to figure out what the best use of my body is. How much shortage is there for transplant organs? Or bodies for surgery education? Or bodies for research? Which is likely to do the most good?

    Transplant appears like an obvious win but I doubt they could be that desperate if they haven't started an option out system yet. Likewise I've read that they won't always use transplant donor bodies for surgery practice, so again maybe they're not particularly desperate.

    The only caveat is I don't want my family to have to wait years for a funeral service, although I may suffice to have the service before the body is finished with
Page 1
    • Crabapple
    • By Crabapple 14th Jul 17, 4:46 PM
    • 1,548 Posts
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    Crabapple
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:46 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:46 PM
    They absolutely are desperate for transplant organs. There is always a fuss kicked up about changing the system to opt-out so governments have been nervous of doing it.

    Whatever you choose be aware these types of wishes are not binding even in a will so you need to tell your closest family and impress on them you want this to happen.

    If you prefer research then you need to find details for who wants bodies and how to get in touch with them, as they need to take charge of a body pretty swiftly. Whether they take one depends on many factors.
    Daughter born January 2012 Son born February 2014

    Slimming World ~ trying to get back on the wagon...
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    • 28,648 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:55 PM
    I'll be writing my will soon and I'd like to figure out what the best use of my body is. How much shortage is there for transplant organs? Or bodies for surgery education? Or bodies for research? Which is likely to do the most good?
    Originally posted by MatthewAinsworth
    It's way too late to tell people about your wishes in your will.

    Your will may not be looked at for some time after you die.

    If you want parts of your body to be used, people close to you need to know before you die so that the hospital has the option to keep you on life support while matches are made.

    You can register on the Organ Donor Register - www.organdonation.nhs.uk
    • MatthewAinsworth
    • By MatthewAinsworth 14th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
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    MatthewAinsworth
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    I think maybe transplant as that will have a direct result, although the brain may be free to be used for research.

    I will tell my loved ones, but they don't like my decision and want my body untampered with - I don't even like the idea of being buried and decaying
    • MatthewAinsworth
    • By MatthewAinsworth 14th Jul 17, 5:10 PM
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    MatthewAinsworth
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:10 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:10 PM
    I want to be cremated eventually but wife doesn't want me to be...
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
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    Mojisola
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
    I think maybe transplant as that will have a direct result, although the brain may be free to be used for research.

    I will tell my loved ones, but they don't like my decision and want my body untampered with - I don't even like the idea of being buried and decaying
    Originally posted by MatthewAinsworth
    That could be a problem - even if you register for organ donation, your relatives can over-ride that.

    Doctors won't take organs if the relatives are set against it.
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 14th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
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    Hedgehog99
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    If you choose the medical research option, you need to choose the university and do their paperwork in advance and make sure the relevant info is available to relatives and medical staff at the time of your death.

    Some places allow you to donate free, some are beginning to charge because people were seeing it as the way to a free funeral.

    There's usually a service of thanks at the end of the time the medical students have been working on your body.

    I'd read the info received by someone who'd registered to donate their body, but in the end, the organisation concerned wasn't able to accept their body. It's important that your executors know what your desired Plan B is in case your body cannot be used, and that they are in a position to arrange that for you.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 14th Jul 17, 5:45 PM
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    DigForVictory
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:45 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:45 PM
    Start with carrying a donor card.

    Of course what you want & what *happens* can vary massively - especially if your currently breathing family are all squeamish. I've met a couple of astoundingly persuasive medics though - much is possible.

    Frankly, plan to outlive the horrified but ensure you're in good nick for spares - lay off any smoking or drinking, keep fit, try not to need prescription medication much if at all - in fact live a nice healthy MS life right up to the point where an empty ambulance slides on an ice patch & knocks you for 6. They've got almost all the gear to hold you in the best possible nick for recovery (let alone transplant) and it always helps if you do actually die in a hospital (ideally a major one) as they've got the kit & personnel to do you credit. As well as hotlines to those most in need of all the handy spares.

    Start with carrying the card. Then get & stay as healthy as you can. Educate your children. Then see how the dice land.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
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    Mojisola
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    Start with carrying a donor card.
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    Cards can get lost so sign up online as well.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jul 17, 6:02 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Don't forget - when it comes to the time they might not want you for a variety of reasons.

    Make sure that you write in it what you want to happen to your remains in the event of them having to make that choice.

    e.g. cremation ....but then what? Grave/headstone for the ashes? Or scatter them?

    They need to know "in case"...save them stressing over what they think you might've wanted.

    My dad told us cremation .... but completely forgot to tell us what to do with the ashes! We're having to make it up.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jul 17, 6:10 PM
    • 28,648 Posts
    • 72,976 Thanks
    Mojisola
    My dad told us cremation .... but completely forgot to tell us what to do with the ashes! We're having to make it up.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    That's not always a bad thing.

    Dad told us the one thing that he definitely didn't want to happen but otherwise left it up to us where his and Mum's ashes were spread.

    We kept Mum at home until Dad died and then scattered their ashes together in a place where they loved spending time.

    Of course, it could have been difficult if we hadn't been able to agree.

    (Mum had always wanted to travel more than she did so we used to joke with her that we would divide her up and send her off to every continent in the world for friends and relatives to scatter!)
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 14th Jul 17, 7:05 PM
    • 2,294 Posts
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    clairec79
    My husband has signed up for medical research (Cardiff University) - I'm not too keen on the idea but it's his choice

    They do have the provisio that they may not take it, I think it depends on how he dies etc

    BTW in Wales it is opt out - I doubt the need for organs is greater than in England (I'm unsure if I can donate all of mine - I have signed up to organ donation when I was about 16 and it's on my drivers license - will they take third hand?)
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Jul 17, 7:11 PM
    • 3,378 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    I find it highly objectionable that my decision may be overidden by others after my death. Has anyone found a way round this? For example a clause in my will that disinherits if my wishes are no complied with?
    • MatthewAinsworth
    • By MatthewAinsworth 14th Jul 17, 7:11 PM
    • 2,890 Posts
    • 1,151 Thanks
    MatthewAinsworth
    Thank you everyone. The only tobacco products I buy are equities! (Indirectly just by indexing) I'm asthmatic so I actively hate public smokers, and I'm flammable from my paraffin based eczema creams

    I don't have strong preferences for location or headstone etc but might make arbitrary decisions if they don't feel up to making decisions, but they probably have stronger preferences than me
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 14th Jul 17, 7:18 PM
    • 3,446 Posts
    • 5,886 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    This is something I've been meaning to look into, I was hoping that my organs could be used for transplants first and then what's left goes off to scientific research. I know most places want a whole cadaver but there must be a need somewhere for just "bits" even for surgery practice it should be able to be done on just some of the body if some organs have already been harvested.

    I hadn't actually considered what would happen if they didn't need to use me, I just assumed they were desperate for donations because most people don't like the thought of it.

    I'm not even bothered about a funeral for me, quite happy for any friends and relatives to hold a wake if they want to but I don't want any of the fuss of a full ceremony. I don't like that sort of thing while alive so don't want it when I'm dead.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 14th Jul 17, 7:19 PM
    • 4,946 Posts
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    theoretica
    A friend had a transplant earlier this year. I hope the donor's family and loved ones have some idea how many people are overwhelmingly grateful to them and the donor for making that decision.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 14th Jul 17, 7:46 PM
    • 7,188 Posts
    • 19,637 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    You could always wean your family onto the idea by making an altrustic donation, say of a kidney?

    It'll have most of the essential tests done & in your records so accelerating the process later on.

    It would also give the medics clear evidence of your active intentions - the scarring is easily read & you need never worry about a misplaced donor card. Your body will already say Donor! Which may help your medics coax your family - see he's already donated one, he wanted to, chose to...

    In fact, once the healthy living has really got a grip, you may be able to donate a part of your liver - it regenerates (over a couple of months, not like Dr.Who!) The slightly odder bit would be clearing the psychological screening as to why are you doing this - "training my family" may not be quite the answer they can handle.

    I'll presume you're signed up with the blood donors? (Register online here)? Can't see the family grumbling about that & the tea is lovely. Bone marrow register? Both the NHS one here and the more widely known Antony Nolan one here?

    Educating the wife is also doable - before the patter of tiny feet there is the possibility of donating the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta (Antony Nolan again, here) - risk free for you, her & the baby & if the first childbirth goes as is to be expected, the dear girl may need reminding how well she's done as if she can recall five things after that 48 hours she'll be doing better than I did.

    Go on, sign up. Nothing's certain but death & taxes, and while there are tax avoidance schemes around, isn't it nicer to be on the other team sharing, prolonging quality, saving life?

    Headstones are expensive. But so is dialysis. Give someone ten really good years & that they don't know your name & dates is immaterial - they & their families will be just so thankful.
    Last edited by DigForVictory; 14-07-2017 at 7:51 PM.
    • kitty4ever
    • By kitty4ever 18th Aug 17, 7:56 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kitty4ever
    OP, get in touch with Gunther von Hagens
    "But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' "But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' "They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 19th Aug 17, 7:20 AM
    • 986 Posts
    • 1,631 Thanks
    troubleinparadise
    Brain donation is a very altruistic body part to donate, and you don't need to be a super-healthy person - indeed, the more weird and wonderful neurological diseases the better, although healthy brains are also welcomed.

    You sign up in advance (!) for this with the Brain Bank, but you will need to have an understanding and onside family member or friend who will contact the Bank upon your death.

    The tissue is retrieved, very respectfully, within 24-72 hours of death, and your body is then available for your funeral.

    My mum donated her brain to Parkinson's research, the whole event was handled very discreetly and sensitively, and when I saw her afterwards you would not know anything had happened. I received a brief report of their findings some months later.

    Here's a bit more information:

    https://www.mrc.ac.uk/research/facilities-and-resources-for-researchers/brain-banks/donating-brain-and-spinal-cord-tissue/

    And for all aspects of donation, the Human Tissue Authority website makes informative reading:

    https://www.hta.gov.uk/donating-your-body
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