1. Is there any religious belief oppose organ donation?
Most religions encourage sharing or giving. Some of the religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, and Christianity accept the spirit of organ donation and praise the kind acts of bringing benefits to others.
2. Can my family members know the situation of the organ(s) and tissue(s) donated?
The privacy of the recipient and the organ donor will always be respected. Neither the name nor personal particulars of the donor will be disclosed, but the family of the donor will be informed of the recipient’s progress after the transplant.
3. Once the organ donation consent form has been signed, no one can say no?
Everyone will be respected. Both the family and the donor have the rights to refuse.
4. Is the organ donation card or the organ donation consent form legalised?
In legal point of view, it indicates donor’s personal will, but the will of the donor’s family will be respected.
5. Once the organ donation consent form has been signed, I will not be salvaged if I have a bad situation?
This will never happen. Saving lives is the responsibility and foremost priority of every medical personnel. Only after a patient is certified dead will the suitability of organ donation be considered to bring new life to another patient with organ failure.
6. Is body check required before making an organ donation decision?
This is not necessary. There are very few absolute contraindications for organ/tissue donations. For example, patients with some infectious diseases or cancer (except brain cancer that has not spread) may not be suitable for organ donation. The medical team in charge of the transplant will assess all potential donors individually for suitability of the organs/tissues for donation.
7. How’s the queuing situation of organ transplant and how to become an organ donor?
Approximately 2,500 patients are queuing for urgent organ or tissue transplant every day in Hong Kong. People who wish to make an organ donation may state their will on the Centralised Organ Donation Register or organ donation card.
8. Who are queuing for organ transplant?
The patients with organ failure are queuing for organ transplant. They struggle with illness every day, relying on medical machine and medicines to extend their lives. However, many patients died before getting a suitable organ.
9. How to match the organs donated with the recipients? How will be recipient be selected? Can I designate recipient? I don’t want to mislead the recipients.
Precondition is the correspondence of the blood type and tissues. Then the priority of the recipient will be assessed according to the objective medical criteria with reference to the registration order recorded in the Centralised Organ Recipient Register.
10. Any difference between organ donation consent form and the organ donation card?
The personal particulars of the donor who signed the consent form will be collected and saved in the Centralised Organ Donation Register (CODR) for 100 years. Authorised personnel responsible for organ donation is able to access the data through the CODR to know about their wish, so Prospective donors successfully registered with the CODR need not carrying the organ donation card with them. Donor may also consider to fill in a organ donation card in order to express your will, but do remember to keep card with yourself. No matter which way do you prefer, please remember to express you will with your other family members.
11. Do I have to talk to my family members before signing the organ donation consent form?
You must talk to your other family members if you want to make organ donation. According to research conducted by Department of Health, the key reason for the extremely low organ donation rate in Hong Kong is that most family members do not know the organ donation will of their deceased member!
12. Will the appearance of the body be affected by the removal of an organ? Can the funeral be arranged as normal?
Once the consent form has been signed by the deceased’s family, donated organs will be removed surgically as soon as possible, with full respect to the deceased’s body. Donation will not disfigure the body or change the way it looks as the surgical wound will be properly cared for and will usually be under the cover of clothing.
13. My health is not too good. Will the history of medical illness affect the suitability for being an organ or a tissue donor?
The medical team in charge of the transplant will assess all potential donors individually for suitability of the organs/tissues for donation.
14. What will the medical personnel do when we decide to donate the organs/ tissues of our beloved?
Once the consent form has been signed by the deceased’s family, the medical team in charge of the transplant will assess the suitability of the organs/tissues donating. Donated organs will be removed surgically as soon as possible, with taking care of to the deceased’s family.
15. Is there any age limit for organ donation?
There is no absolute age limit for organ donation. In general, organs may be donated from someone as young as a newborn or as old as 75. Depending on the tissue in question, the age limit for donation is between 16 and 60 for long bones, below 80 for cornea and there is no age limit for skin donation.
16. Do the patients feel painful during organ transplant operation?
Patients certified dead do not have any feeling, so they will not feel miscomfort or painful during the operation. In addition, anesthesia will be applied to avoid muscle twitch before removing an organ/tissue from a dead body.
17. Is it too early to think about organ donation as I am still young?
It is never too young to consider organ donation. Most organ donors are those who died suddenly in accidents or from acute illnesses. If their organ donation wish has not been recorded or made known to family members beforehand, it will be difficult to accomplish after death.