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National Organ and Tissue Donation Day: the truth from the falsehood

National Organ and Tissue Donation Day: the truth from the falsehood
National Organ and Tissue Donation Day: the truth from the falsehood

CEvery day in France, nearly 15 people are saved thanks to organ donation. During 2023, 5,634 transplants were performed to save lives. According to the latest barometer from the Biomedicine Agency, 80% of French people are in favor of donating their organs. If you are still hesitant, know that a donor can save up to 7 lives.

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On the occasion of the National Day of Reflection on Organ Donation and Transplantation on June 22, the Biomedicine Agency wants to make this day a date to talk about the subject with loved ones. Questions, preconceived ideas, false beliefs… Sort out the truth from the falsehood about what you need to know about organ donation.

There is an age-related contraindication

Fake. Good news, there is no contraindication linked to the age of the donor. The most important thing is truly the condition of the deceased person’s organs. Collection is possible at all ages. In 2019, a 96-year-old patient donated his liver. In 2020, 3% of brain-dead donors were 17 years old or younger; 27.7% between 18 and 49 years old; 29.4% between 50 and 64 years old and 40% were over 65 years old.

Saying nothing while alive means refusing organ donation

Fake. In France, organ and tissue donation is regulated by law. In the name of national solidarity, the principle of “presumed consent” prevails. This means that everyone is presumed to be an organ and tissue donor.

If you do not want this to be the case, you must express your refusal during your lifetime by registering on the national register of refusals or by informing your loved ones. They will be asked to know if the deceased had spoken out during their lifetime.

There are many organs that can be donated

TRUE. If in the majority of cases, deceased people donate their kidney, liver, heart or lungs, it is also possible to donate their pancreas and parts of the intestine. Donation can also involve tissues such as bones, arteries, heart valves, veins, tendons, ligaments and the cornea of ​​the eye.

“Tissue grafting makes it possible, for example, to save the lives of burn victims (skin grafting), to restore sight to visually impaired people (corneal grafting), to reconstruct an anatomy allowing the patient to walk again (bone grafting). ), to replace an infected aortic prosthesis (artery graft),” details the Biomedicine Agency.

Religion is against organ donation

Fake. “One in two French people think that the removal of organs and tissues is incompatible with religious funeral rites, while organ donation is authorized and encouraged by the three main monotheistic religions practiced in France, and that the removal does not does not prevent funerals from being carried out according to each person’s traditions,” recalls the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional health agency.

I can choose who my loved one’s transplanted organ will go to

Fake. In France, organ and tissue donation is based on the principle of anonymity and it is not possible to choose the recipient or even know their name. “The donor’s family can, however, ask the medical team to be informed of the organs and tissues removed as well as the results of the transplants. The recipient will not be informed of the identity of their donor either,” specifies the National Association for the Defense of Consumers and Users.

I can object to the removal of certain organs

TRUE. Just because I support organ donation doesn’t mean they can all be harvested. “It is possible to donate only certain organs and tissues. To do this, you can register in the national register of refusals the organs and tissues from which you do not wish to be removed,” specifies the Biomedicine Agency.

And the agency adds: “It is also possible to express your opposition to the removal of certain organs or tissues in writing on a document that you can entrust to one of your loved ones, so that they can bear witness to it at the time. of your death. » Don’t worry, only the organs and tissues you wish to donate will be collected.

It is possible to be financially compensated

Fake. Donating human organs and tissues is a completely free act of generosity and solidarity. The law prohibits any remuneration in return. However, the medical costs linked to the pre-donation assessment, hospitalization for the collection and monitoring of the living donor are fully covered by the collecting establishment as well as the donor’s health insurance.

“Non-medical costs relating to transport and accommodation costs linked to the donation are also covered. In addition, donors with a professional activity can benefit from work leave and a daily allowance paid by health insurance,” specifies the regional health agency.

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