Sep. 28th, 2006

A lot of people on my friends+ list are currently mourning the loss of a friend/writer/co-fan, John M. Ford, and are reminding people to sign their organ donor cards in his memory as (I believe) he had a transplant that extended his life.

I just wanted to add some personal information to this which is if you want to be an organ donor, please make that really clear to your family and why.

Because they will be asked (in a lot of places I think their decision is more binding than a signed card), and if it's anything like what we went through with Emily they will be asked repeatedly, occasionally a little callously, and they may have to sign multiple documents at a time when their heads and hearts are going to feel like exploding.

And so they may need the clarity of your past conversation to get through the process and not just start waving their hands and saying "go away!"

In our case we had to sign I think 5 forms, after enduring not one but two long, long explanations about organ donation, what would happen if the wasn't a match or if the organs were not viable, and a kind of verbal test to make sure we'd understood what we'd heard. This was mostly as Emily was dying, and then again afterwards. As the parents we each had to be asked separately out of the presence of the other parent. And I had to have an additional blood test despite all the testing me, my placenta, and Emily had just gone through, for HIV/AIDS, because that was The Procedure.

I understood and still do understand that this was all Legalese, particularly in Canada where the people running the Red Cross had recently landed in /jail/ for not implementing HIV tests at the right time (despite the gov't not having yet approved funding for them). But it was a hurdle anyway. So take the time at a nice cosy meal or whatever to have the talk. It's worth it. :-)

My condolences to John M. Ford's friends & family.

And as usual my regular blog's at: http://www.multiplicity.ca/blog

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shandra

September 2006

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