Among all the questions from Anne Heche’s car crash last week (like is there a conspiracy? and did she try to get off the stretcher?) was one regarding her designation as an organ donor. First of all, signing up to donate your organs is a great and thoughtful thing for someone to think about in the event of his or her death.
“How can I do some good in the world even when I’m not here?”
“Can someone benefit from the body I leave behind?”
These are unselfish questions so we should all remember that about Ms. Heche. She made sure that one of her last wishes was to help others. Moving right along, the question that arose for me is this: Can someone who is apparently on drugs still donate their organs?
Well, the simple answer is yes. If doctors weren’t able to use her organs then she wouldn’t have been kept on life support for the handful of days after she was declared brain dead. As for which organs, that’s something I don’t know specifically but in a few articles (for example here and here), it’s stated that organs from a person who died of an overdose (or they had an addiction) were just about as functional in the recipient as organs from someone who passed away in a different way (head injury, etc).
So apparently the cocaine that was reportedly in Anne’s system didn’t disqualify her from being a donor. Had she suffered from something like cancer or HIV, though, she couldn’t be a donor. Well, that just about clears it up for me! I read that the doctors found recipients for the various organs from Anne. This kind of raises up another question to ponder. If you were in need of an organ, how bad would it have to be for you to get over the fact that the organ you’re getting is from someone who had a drug addiction? It doesn’t seem to make a difference, but I think it would be something I wrestled with if I were in that situation.
Thanks for dropping in…
-Out of the Wilderness