Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oh The Controversy

Signing up to be an organ donor is one of the most generous things you can do—especially when you consider that a single donor can potentially save eight lives.  That’s eight people who won’t have to spend agonizing months or years on the transplant waiting list, who will get a second chance, because you made the selfless decision to be a donor.

If you would accept an organ why wouldn’t you give one? By deciding to be a donor, you are providing hope for the thousands of people awaiting organ transplants and for the millions of people whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants.  It’s the greatest gift you can give—the gift of life.

The video plainly explained why I do this.  Why I'm writing this post.  I have a very personal connection to the topic.  However, even if I didn't, I'd still support it. Below, as promised in the video, I've answered some myths that surround organ donation and remain responsible for the stigma pressing the issue.  

Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work as hard to save my life.
Fact: When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else's. You'll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular emergency.
Myth: Maybe I won't really be dead when they sign my death certificate.
Fact: Although it's a popular topic in the tabloids, in reality, people don't start to wiggle their toes after they're declared dead. In fact, people who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests (at no charge to their families) to determine that they're truly dead than are those who haven't agreed to organ donation.
Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.
Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions. This includes Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faiths. If you're unsure of or uncomfortable with your faith's position on donation, ask a member of your clergy.
Myth: I'm under age 18. I'm too young to make this decision.
Fact: That's true, in a legal sense. But your parents can authorize this decision. You can express to your parents your wish to donate, and your parents can give their consent knowing that it's what you wanted. Children, too, are in need of organ transplants, and they usually need organs smaller than those an adult can provide.
Myth: An open-casket funeral isn't an option for people who have donated organs or tissues.
Fact: Organ and tissue donation doesn't interfere with having an open-casket funeral. The donor's body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation. For bone donation, a rod is inserted where bone is removed. With skin donation, a very thin layer of skin similar to a sunburn peel is taken from the donor's back. Because the donor is clothed and lying on his or her back in the casket, no one can see any difference.
Myth: I'm too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.
Fact: There's no defined cutoff age for donating organs. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.
Myth: I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues.
Fact: Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.
Myth: Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ.
Fact: The rich and famous aren't given priority when it comes to allocating organs. It may seem that way because of the amount of publicity generated when celebrities receive a transplant, but they are treated no differently from anyone else. The reality is that celebrity and financial status are not considered in organ allocation.
Myth: My family will be charged if I donate my organs.
Fact: The organ donor's family is never charged for donating. The family is charged for the cost of all final efforts to save your life, and those costs are sometimes misinterpreted as costs related to organ donation. Costs for organ removal go to the transplant recipient.

Now that you have the facts, you can see that being an organ donor can make a big difference, and not just to one person. By donating your organs after you die, you can save or improve as many as 50 lives. And many families say that knowing their loved one helped save other lives helped them cope with their loss.
Also, some of the problem isn’t that people don’t want to donate organs or even that they don’t sign up to become donors. It’s that currently, the health care and legal systems don’t ensure that a person’s wishes regarding organ donation are honored. Even if you sign a donor card or the back of your driver’s license, if your family doesn’t give its approval, the hospital will not procure your organs — in spite of your prior written consent. The National Network of Organ Donors believes that signing a legal document should guarantee, without exception, that your wishes are met.

That’s why they created the network, and why we’ve made it their mission to get every adult in America to join the registry. They want to remove the barriers, both legal and emotional, that can prevent life-saving transplants from taking place.

The Network understands that a grieving family may not be in the position to make a decision about organ donation at the time of their loved one’s death. And yet, that’s precisely when doctors must ask family members for permission. Why do hospitals need this consent if you have already signed an organ donor card or the back of your driver’s license? Because they may fear a lawsuit if they go against the wishes of a patient’s family, especially if the family is vehemently opposed to organ donation.

So educate your families people.  Let them know what you want.

Also, regarding stem cell research.

Growing up I was told by some people that stem cell research was wrong, immoral.  Even murder.  Stem cells are primal cells found in all multi-cellular organisms that retain the ability to renew themselves through cell division and can differentiate into a wide range of specialized cell types. Basically, say someone had Parkinson's. This disease sets in when cells in the brain that secrete a specific chemical die out, so we could turn stem cells into the missing cell type and implant them in the brain, curing the disease. Paralysis results from damage to the spinal cord, but we could turn stem cells into nerve cells and use them to bridge the gap. If a person has a severe heart attack, the heart muscle becomes damaged and can't work as well, making the person progressively weaker and leading to death, but we could turn stem cells into heart cells and replace the damaged tissue.

We could cure just about anything.

But funding for the research has stopped because of ethical issues involved.  Stem cells come from three places.  Embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and chord cells.  It's only when they're taken from embryonic cells that people start to raise questions.  Is it ethical?  Is that the taking of human life?  Well, do the research.  And make your own decision.  But remember, there are other sources for stem cells too.  They don't all come from embryos.  So in my opinion, the research needs to move forward.  We're over a decade behind the rest of the world in the research.  There's tons of potential.  And if we don't commit to the research, we'll NEVER see the results.  

So, that's my long, exhuasting blurb for the week.  Hope I stirred some thought!  Till next time!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Google Search

Okay, so here I have for you some random facts.  As unimportant as they may seem, one can never say that expansion of knowledge is a bad thing.  No matter how useless the facts may be. The other day, during one of my grave shifts, I started to Google anything that popped into my head.  The list below is the direct result of my random googling.  And I have to say, I learned a lot.

Item #1

My Search: Egyptians and Human Organs

My Results: Early Egyptians believed that the heart and other major organs had wills of their own and would move around inside the body.

Okay so the first thing I thought when I read this was, "If that's true, then my heart has some sort of beef with me.  And we best sort this out" But just the idea that organs could be complete entities of their own fascinated me more than it made me laugh at the silliness of the idea.  That's it. Probably the most useless of them all.

Item #2

My Search: Red Head Facts

My Results:  According to Hamburg sex researcher Dr. Werner Habermehl, women with red hair have more sex than women with other hair colors. He also postulates that women in a relationship who dye their hair red may be signaling that they are unhappy and looking for something better.

Well played Dr. Habermehl, well played.  I read this, and looked around my general vicinity, just to make sure no one but me had become privy to this piece of information.  I felt like someone had just given me the nod, confirming my theories to be correct! I'm not saying red heads are promiscuous beings.  Because heaven knows blondes get the rap for that.  But I HAVE always questioned the wannabes.  The ones who dye it red.  Whatcha tryin to say? Whatcha tryin to prove? Why go red? And not blonde like everyone else?  Anyway...

Item #3

My Search: Tattoo History


(you're welcome;))

My Results: The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians and used tattoos to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. The Romans learned it from the Greeks and would tattoo “fug” on the foreheads of slaves for “fugitive.

It's no secret for those who know me that I think awesome tattoos are AWESOME.  And I say it that way because some tattoos, like the ones with bleeding eye balls and raging dragons, are straight up stupid and disgusting.  No one should ever get those, and the people who do need to be questioned.  So, I was curious, to see how far back tattoos go.  And actually, I also found that one of the earliest mummies ever found had a cross tattoo.  So basically body art has been around since the beginning of time.  As a form of identification.  And this particular fact led me to wonder what kind of identification mark would I choose for myself if we still did this.  Like let's just say if the nerds all got NERD tattooed on their bodies, and all the gamblers got GAMBLER, and all the people unjustifiably on welfare got MONEY MOOCHER, and so on, what would I get? After giving it some thought, I decided I'd get GINGER.  Because as a ginger, most of my key traits and personality quirks are already implied, I wouldn't have to say much more.  

Item #4

My Search: Facts on Love

My Results: When someone looks at a new love, the neural circuits that are usually associated with social judgment are suppressed.


Item #5

My Search: USA tax system

My Results: The United Sates has what is called a progressive tax system, which means that the more money a person makes, the more he or she pays in income tax.

And some act confused...It's quite simple really. What, get a job? Nah,  imma stay home watchin' sum Jerry Springa sippin on my beer and nomin' on a frozen pizza pocket.  That way, those people livin in that there white house aint got nothin on me! 

I totally get it white trash neighbors know what they're doin!

Item #6

My Search: Moral Decline

My Results: Under the Hays Code (1930-1968), people kissing in American films could no longer be horizontal; at least one had to be sitting or standing, not lying down. In addition, all on-screen married couples slept in twin beds...and if kissing on one of the beds occurred, at least one of the spouses had to have a foot on the floor.

Boy have we jumped off the deep end.  How would it have been to grow up in an era with cinematic rules such as this? I'm so used to seeing what I shouldn't during movies.  I think we all are.  And without getting too serious or bringing up a whole other topic of its own, I just have to say it's troubling, and disappointing.  What has been deemed appropriate for the screen has created mass distortions between right and wrong, moral and immoral.  I for one value the sanctity of marriage, the sacredness the union implies.  I'm not a saint, I laugh at crude jokes, I think Easy A is down right hilarious.  But I get sick to my stomach when I realize how numb we are, I am, to the things we see on TV.  Whatever happened to the Hays Code? Maybe I'll google that.

Item #7

My Search: Kissing Facts

My Results: Passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute. A Hershey’s kiss contains 26 calories, which takes five minutes of walking–or about four minutes of kissing–to burn off.

So working out is hard for me, we know that.  I'm a heart patient, my heart sucks, therefore exercise is rough.  I have struggled for YEARS to maintain a healthy weight, because even speed walking makes me nervous.  That being said, you can imagine the little chuckle I enjoyed with myself when I read this.  All this time I've been wearing myself out, when I could have been making out. It's a joke really, but I find it kind of hilarious knowing I will now and forever use this against myself as an excuse not to go kill myself at the gym.  In fact tomorrow night, I'm going to  stay home and make out with my husband instead.  And the best part is, it won't even be a day off, cause i'll be burnin just as many calories. So pleased with this piece of useless knowledge, so very pleased.

Item #8

My Search: Stupid Laws

My Results: 

While reading these laws I couldn't help but come up with some smart aleck remark after each one, they were all just so darn ridiculous. So I picked a few to share.

It is illegal in Tennessee for an atheist to hold office.  And in Tennessee we don't allow gay marriage either, because then we'd be a bit biased and off balance when it came to equal rights, and heaven knows what kind of problems that'd cause...

In Truro, Mississippi, a man must prove himself worthy before getting married by hunting and killing either six blackbirds or three crows. FINALLY. A way to sort the manly men from the rest of them. 

In Kentucky, a woman is forbidden to wear a bathing suit on a highway unless she is armed with a club or is escorted by at least two officers. The amendment says that the provisions of this statue “shall not apply to a female weighing less than 90 pounds or exceeding 200 pounds.” Because heaven knows the teenage boy-lady or the fatty chick aren't getting jumped by a couple hustlers any time soon. 

That's all for today.  I'm in the midst of some research surrounding eating disorders and the facts behind it all.  So, heads up for the next post.  If that topic doesn't interest you, maybe after reading my post it will. Till next time;)