LifeSharers — TruthStretchers


 

In case you don’t already know, I am a heart transplant recipient.  I got my heart from a generous stranger seven months ago.  I know what it is like to be dying and what it is like to hope beyond hope that you will get an organ. 

 

My advice; if you want to save lives through organ donation, Joining LifeSharers is not the answer.  They are illusionists and what you see is not what you get.  If you are a LifeSharers member and you believe in fairness and in helping all people regardless of position in life, consider resigning your membership.  I offer four reasons for my admonitions. 

1.  Deception: According to LifeSharers, “Organ donors should get organs first.”  That is what they say but it is not what they mean.  Just being an organ donor is not enough; you have to be an organ donor and a member of LifeSharers.  Proof?  Read this quote from www.lifesharers.org   “Even if you are already a registered organ donor, you should join the LifeSharers network.  By doing so, you will have access to organs that otherwise may not be available to you.”  In other words, if you don’t join you have no access — even if you are a registered donor. 

 

2.  Insensitive, Immoral, Selfish:  On the LifeSharers FAQ they ask, “Shouldn’t organs go first to the people who need them most and have been waiting longest?  Their answer: “Organs should go first to the people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die…”  Funny, until I wrote my last LifeSharers blog the answer started with, “NO.”  But they removed the “No” when I was critical of it.  LifeSharers does not care if you have only days to live.  Unless you are a member of their club, you don’t get first dibs on an organ.  

 

 3.  Insincere distraction.  All over the U.S. there are honest programs doing what they can to promote fair and equitable organ donation.  LifeSharers only hampers those efforts by confusing people.  It is important to note, too, that for LifeSharers to grow large enough to have any influence and treat everyone fairly, everyone would have to join — everyone!   When was the last time you heard of everyone joining anything?  Besides, at their current rate of growth, about 2,000 members a year, it would take 500 years for LifeSharers to get a million members.  But give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they can grow by 4,000 members a year.  Then it will only take them 250 years to get to a million.  There are 300 million people in the U.S.

 

 4.  Discriminatory & Unfair:  If you haven’t heard about donation, have wrong information, just didn’t get around to signing up or don’t have access to a computer, LifeSharers thinks you don’t exist.  If you are on the list and dying but not a member, LifeSharers isn’t interested in you.  If you are an organ donor and dying, LifeSharers doesn’t care about you.  Being an organ donor does not count unless you are a LifeSharers member.  

 

Don’t be fooled by LifeSharers double talk, misdirection and truthstretching.  Read and dissect what they have to say.  It’s nonsense, it is unfair and it contradicts itself. 

 

If you really want to help those in need of organs, sign a donor card, get it on your driver’s license, tell your family and then ask your family and friends to do the same.  Those are the actions that will save lives.  Want more information contact your local OPO or Donate Life America http://www.donatelife.net/.

 

PEACE from a grateful, no strings attached heart recipient and long-time registered organ donor.

 

 

Posted on April 7, 2008, in LifeSharers. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I intend to donate my body to a medical school. I fear that the social pressure/guilt tactics of groups like LifeSharers will further create even more of a barrier for ANOTHER serious shortage–that of intact human bodies NEEDED for medical research and medical students. They have to learn on something!

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  2. I don’t think LifeSharers is needed. The United States has a system in place already that is successful. Yes people die waiting but education is the answer, not another group trying to bypass the system in place. I totally agree that we should not be throwing away medically suitable organs when someone dies. That’s where education comes in. And things have improved greatly over the past couple of years for donation. More donors, more organs than ever thanks to the National Collaborative on Organ Donation; more hospitals working to increase donation and to stop the burial, cremation of good healthy organs. LifeSharers is not making a difference where it counts, but I guess it keeps someone busy.

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  3. To Dave, the last to comment. Your response is typical of LifeSharers responses. Accuse but ignore the facts. You and Mr. Undis use the same formula. “If you can’t justify, blame. If you can’t blame, confuse and if you can’t confuse, ignore.”

    I stand by my blogs. Your indignation is anything but righteous, it accuses without adressing the facts both Jennifer and I stated. I will continue to expose LifeShrers for what it is, an elitist organization that hinders, not helps organ donation.

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  4. I am a proud member of LifeSharers and support their goals and means. Bob and Jennifer’s complaints are quite off-point and demonstrate absolute lack of understanding of the issues and the solutions that are currently possible under U.S. law. LifeSharers is simply doing the best it can within the current legal framework. Frankly, given the powers of analysis I see on display here, I wouldn’t ask either of ’em to recommend a consumer product, never mind pay attention to their opinions on weightier matters.

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  5. One of the problems with the LifeSharers system is that it’s likely to delay (if not prevent) the actual organ donation from happening. When someone dies in such a way that organ donation is possible (and only 2% of us do), there is a very limited amount of time to obtain consent (if the donor didn’t already sign the state’s donor registry), test the blood for diseases and matching purposes, contact potential transplant recipients, arrange for several surgical teams to travel to the donor’s hospital and do the surgery. This is typically a matter of hours, at most a day or two, between declaring death and the donation surgery.

    If the family wants to direct an organ or two to someone they know waiting for a transplant, that’s a great opportunity and they should be able to do that. IF, however, the family wants to donate to “someone on the LifeSharers list”, that would involve a lot of challenging cross-matching to see if any are an appropriate medical match, and if so which one is the best medical match for that particular donor. This process would take so long that the donor’s body and organs would likely deteriorate, possibly damaging the organs or preventing the donation altogether.

    Additionally, there are a lot of people who THINK they’ve properly signed up as an organ donor in their state, but don’t have the right information about how to actually do so. And there are millions more who did sign up through the official methods for their state — typically a donor registry or through the DMV. There are also some very good reasons someone *shouldn’t* sign up on a Donor Registry, even if they wish to become a donor, so they instead share that wish with family members who can give consent at the time of donation.

    I sure don’t think it’s ethical for LifeSharers to penalize people who indicate their wish to donate in ways outside the Lifesharers registry. Why should they be put to the back of the recipient list, especially if they’re willing to donate? Luckily, LifeSharers has no such authority.

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  6. Mr Undis comment is more of the same, slight of had, misdirection, illusion and truth stretching. I stand by both of my blogs on LifeSharers. Mr. Undis is a master illusionist. who obviously believes, “If you can’t justify, blame. If you can’t blame, confuse and if you can’t confuse, ignore.” Read my last blog again (LifeSharers — TruthStretchers) and you’ll see that Mr. Undis did exactly that.

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  7. I am Dave Undis, founder and Executive Director of LifeSharers.

    When LifeSharers says “organ donors should get organs first” that is exactly what we mean. Since our organization was founded in 2002, I have advocated that UNOS allocate all organs first to registered organ donors.

    LifeSharers members offer their organs first to fellow LifeSharers members, if any member is a suitable match, before making them available to non-members. Mr. Aronson criticizes LifeSharers because we don’t give preferred access to registered organ donors who are not LifeSharers members. But we have no legal way to do that. Under federal and state law, we can only offer our organs to specified individuals. We cannot legally offer them to people we can’t identify. Only UNOS can give all registered organ donors preferred access to donated organs. I have long advocated that UNOS do exactly that. For an example, see a recent guest commentary in the Naples Daily News at http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/sep/22/guest_commentary_organs_organ_donors_could_solve_s/. Mr. Aronson’s criticism really should be directed at UNOS, not at LifeSharers. UNOS has the power to put a big dent in the organ shortage by putting organ donors first, but it has chosen not to use that power. LifeSharers is using the power we have to the extent the law allows us to do so.

    LifeSharers is a sincere attempt to save lives by increasing the number of registered organ donors. Several of our members explain why they joined LifeSharers on our web site at http://www.lifesharers.org/people.htm. Please take the time to see what they have to say. Then make up your own mind whether our members are insincere, insensitive, immoral, selfish, or don’t care about people who need organ transplants.

    The bottom line is this – if you allocate organs first to registered organ donors you’ll get more organ donors and save more lives. LifeSharers is helping to make that a reality. Membership is free and open to all at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88.

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