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Organ donation tattoos

Make your choice stick
  [vote for,

In California, we have little pink stickers that we can put on our driver's licences that often fall off, and little forms that are easily lost. Not to mention that depending on the circumstances of your death, your wallet may be easily lost, and then your family must be consulted and must agree with your final wishes.

Wouldn't it be much better if people who were serious about organ donation could get tattoos that indicated a legally-binding, lifelong expression of consent for organ-harvesting after death? Some particularly goth folk might choose to remind others and themselves of their mortality by putting a visible tattoo in a prominent location. This might also help promote this life-saving decision. Others might want theirs in an out-of-the-way place, or in UV ink. Presumably, the medical system would want to establish a standard location for easy checking.

beland, Sep 27 2003

HLA & you http://www.med.umic.../hla/hla_&_you.html
Illustrated. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

one of california's opo's http://www.ctdn.org/
[xclamp, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, universal donor http://kywurlitzer.netfirms.com/pipe.htm
[normzone, Nov 24 2004]


       Um, what if you change your mind?
ghillie, Sep 27 2003

       Then you tattoo a line through it.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 27 2003

       "Cut here---->"
krelnik, Sep 27 2003

       A bun!   

       /what if you change your mind/ Same as if you tattooed "Linda" then Linda left: 1-laser removal. 2-TAKE MY ORGANS -> DON'T TAKE MY ORGANS -> DON'T TAKE MY ORGANS TIL I'M DEAD, then start over with strikethroughs, then back to option 1. 3-tough.   

       In many states organ donation elections must be witnessed, and tattoo artists being generally impeachable witnesses, this might present a problem.
smallrocks, Sep 27 2003

       In Virginia they print an 'Organ Donor' picture by your name.
ghillie, Sep 27 2003

       Take my skin if you don't mind tattoos.
FarmerJohn, Sep 27 2003

       What, do you think a jury would think that the customer didn't actually want to donate their organs, but the tattoo artist pinned them down and put on the tattoo anyway? Or that they didn't actually want to donate their organs, just get the "I want to get my organs donated" tattoo?
beland, Sep 27 2003

       I really like this idea, however, in most places, the law says that once you die your carcass basically becomes a posession of your next of kin. {Afterall, they are the ones who have to legally dispose of it}   

       This is why there are next of kin notification procedures in place; if your Mother/Father/Son/Daughter disagreed with organ donation, you will have in essence violated their 'property righhts' by removing any organs or tissues. Get that fractious little aspect of the law changed, and I will be the first in line for an Organ Donor tattoo...{which I think would ideally be located over your heart in UV ink.}
little dog laughed, Sep 27 2003

       Why stop there? Why not include your blood type and maybe optionally HIV status? Perhaps advanced care directive ("living will"... do not resusitate, etc.), and known allergies? In a bar-code format to provide some privacy? They DO have tattoo removal lasers. That's how Johnny Depp had his tattoo modified from "Winona Forever" to "Wino Forever" when he broke up with Winona Ryder, they tell me.
musicator, Sep 28 2003

       I'm all for organ donation - in Australia they write your preference on your drivers licence. I hate needles though.. and I'm sure I'd hate having a tattoo.   

       I'm voting against this because it seems like a lot of unnecessary effort and pain.
madradish, Sep 28 2003

       I'm giving this one a croissant because it seems like a lot of effort and pain for something that can achieved much more easily.
ywong, Sep 28 2003

       Fishbone, because people who didn't want to put up with getting tattoos wouldn't become organ donors. That's a bad thing.
waugsqueke, Sep 28 2003

       <aside> Nn some European countries, organ donation is obligatory unless the individual opts out. Donation rates are very high as a result. This suggests that, in general, people do not choose to donate their organs through apathy (or stickers falling off) rather than a general opposition to the idea. </aside>
jonthegeologist, Sep 28 2003

       As a symbol of belonging to a group, having witnessed or pariticipated in an event, or as as symbol of belief, I find it a very powerful statement that you might want to put that symbol on your skin. Putting an image on your your skin for the sake of it I regard as a little daft.   

       Since this has a purpose, I like the idea of it. That its aims could probably be accomplished by a chip providing a unique number partnered by a medical database doesn't make me like this idea any less.
st3f, Sep 28 2003

       Yes, the U.S. needs presumed consent, not tattoos.
phoenix, Sep 28 2003

       I'm certainly not proposing that this is mandatory for anyone that wants to donate their organs. I mean, half of the point of getting a visible one would be to make a fashion statement.
beland, Sep 28 2003

       It's not just that the European opt-out stickers also fall off? 8)
beland, Sep 28 2003

       I like this idea. The tattooing process could surely be made much quicker when dealing with standard patterns. Could you not just hook the tattooing needle up to a printer and choose your combination of small symbols (e.g. liver, heart,cornea etc). Clamp the limb or whatever to make sure it doesn't move during the tattooing process and press GO. Bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz,bzzzzz..Done. ( and it doesn't hurt that much, honest)   

       Maybe a national doner database would be more simple. Then you would just have to phone up and tell them which spare parts they can have once you are dead or of course, reverse your decision and remove your name from the database. In the U.K. we have little paper cards which get washed, bent, smeared and lost very easily.
squeak, Sep 29 2003

       I often wondered where they get those doner kebab things from
po, Sep 29 2003

phundug, Sep 29 2003

       I can just see the "Do not take my organs", then the guy gets in a major motorcycle accident and the road rash peels away his skin leaving "take my organs"... hmmmm... more organs. This could be a good thing!   

       I do like the idea!
scarkner, Sep 29 2003

       The recipient side - If one is the recipient of a donated organ, one should get the name of the donor tattooed on one's forearm, as a "thank you" to the person that so gratiously donated it.
cockeyed, Sep 29 2003

       Are you the recipient of a large donated organ, or are you just...etc., etc.?
FarmerJohn, Sep 29 2003

       Here in Georgia, and other states in the "backwards" southern US they simply ask you if you want to donate when you renew your license. They then put "Organ Donor" on your license. No notary, no tattoo, no hassle. I had thought it was done in the same manner in more advanced civilizations also.
WikdWaze, Oct 20 2003

       If you mean on a driving license [WikdWaze], then you have a problem. Many people don't have a driving license and even if they do, don't carry it around at all times. By your system, all non-drivers and people who leave their license at home are excluded from the organ donar programme.
squeak, Oct 20 2003

       I think each organ that you authorize to be donated should be individually marked with a "DONATE ME" sign.   

       When you die, surgeons cut you up and look for the signs; then they know what to keep and what to bury.
phundug, Oct 20 2003

       Even people without a drivers license usually have some form of state-issued picture ID so they can cash checks and whatnot. I don't see why the same process wouldn't apply to those. Whether or not you're carrying your license when you die shouldn't matter. I'm fairly certain the doctor removing organs never sees proof of donor status anyhow. They are simply told whether or not to harvest organs.   

       phundug, once again you have struck a gold mine of amusing stupidity. They already cut you open for the autopsy, why not check the organs for a donation sign while they're at it? It would be kind of like those scratch-off lottery tickets where you see the prize, but find out you don't win it.
WikdWaze, Oct 20 2003

       I think the best system is for a tatoo to be drawn as an outline of the organ you want to donate, it would make it very simple to determine whether or not you want to donate your kidneys etc. Bit hard when it comes to corneas, but I'm sure they'll find a way...
GrapesofWrath, Oct 20 2003

       We (the unspecified "we") were brainstorming useful tattoos, and came up with two. One was the organ donor tattoo, which is why I'm going to bun this. The other was a ruler tattoo (e.g. tiny dots every inch on the forearm), for which I'm not going to continue looking.
nilstycho, Apr 18 2004

       I voted for this because I work for the organ donor program. A surprising percentage of donors have tattoos of something else anyways...maybe you can get the donor tattoo free with any other tat. would also make my job easier if evryone could be kind enough to tattoo their blood type and HLA type too. Maybe get it done at a hospital by a licensed blah blah blah who also happens to be a notary.
xclamp, Apr 18 2004

       What is HLA?   

       While you are getting a tattoo to state your donor preference, can you get your DNR status too? Maybe on your chest where they will see it before they begin heroic measures.
GenYus, Apr 19 2004

       <controversial aside>To encourage organ donation, a potential organ donors should be given higher priority should s/he become a potential recipient. Obviously all sorts of medical and ethical factors need to be considered as well. But it seems fair that, all things being equal, that a recipient who had been willing to donate should be given priority over one who was not. </controversial aside>
k9island, Apr 19 2004

       [xclamp], just how do you know that a surprising percentage of organ donors have tattoos? Is that a mandatory question on the form, used to determine if a person is likely to have AIDS or hepatitis or something? Or is this just an observation you have made?
tchaikovsky, Apr 19 2004

       HLA, Human Leukocyte Antigens, are proteins that may or may not be attacked by white blood cells. People have sets of proteins they produce (two each from three large groups) and other sets of proteins that their white blood cells attack. If you're transplanting an organ into someone else's body, you need to make sure that that organ isn't covered with proteins that the recipient's white blood cells will attack. For a short pamphlet on HLA compatibility, see link.
jutta, Apr 19 2004

       get it tatooed on each of the knuckles of your fingers. BISCUITRY!   

       I like what [k9island] suggested (people who were previously signed up to donate are first in line to receive donations). One side affect of this policy might be that that anyone not signed up to donate organs would essentially be ineligible to receive organs.   

       That prospect might get a lot of people thinking about whether they would want an organ transplant if they needed it, and if so, shouldn't they be signed up to donate?
scad mientist, Apr 20 2004

       i've just noticed thru my experience that a high percentage (by that i mean a much higher percentage than the general population) of organ donors have tattoos. it is also a question on the medical/social history questionnaire completed on all potential donors. Part of this has to do with the fact that trauma victims make up a large percentage of donors (gunshot wound victims invariably have tattoos, usually gang or prison in origin). young people that drive fast also tend to have tattoos. as do motorcyclists. just an observation not a judgment. i have been meaning to quantify my observations...perhaps one day.
xclamp, Apr 28 2004

       Actually I stumbled upon this page because I had heard a rumor (and I was trying to find out if it is true or false) that if you request to donate your organs/body, that if you have tattoos they will not accept your organs. I guess they don't want to take the risk that you may have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis and that the virus is not detectible in your bloodstream yet. Anybody know anything about this? I live in California if it makes any difference. And as an afternote... if that is the case, then I guess that pretty much settles the whole 'donor tattoo' idea.
jamible, Aug 20 2004

       [jamible] you can still be a donor if you have a tattoo. they will want to know when you got it and if it was done by a professional tattoo artist. if it was done "on the street" and within 12 months of your becoming a donor, you can still donate organs (heart lungs liver kideys pancreas), but will likely not be able to donate tissues (bone, vein etc.)   

       the difference being that tissue transplants in general are "life enhancing" whereas organ transplants are "life saving" and therefore more "risk factors" are allowed for in order to save a life.   

       (link) to one of California's opo's. the criteria are national, regulated by FDA, CDC etc., not local.
xclamp, Aug 20 2004

       I'm picturing someone walking around covered in dotted lines, much like a butcher's cut chart. (+)
Freefall, Aug 20 2004

       xclamp, thanx for the info... I was a bit mortified when someone had told me that I couldn't donate my organs because of my tattoos, as it is, I've been unable to donate blood for the past decade because of my tendancy to get at least one tatt or piercing a year.
jamible, Sep 07 2004

       This is a good idea as long as it can legally overrule the need for family members' consent.
impudent strumpet, Sep 07 2004

       This is an idea that I have considered for quite a while. One thing I have been wondering is where to put it. Has anyone here worked in an accident and emergency ward and if so, which part of the body is least likely to get FUBAR by a catestrophic accident?
stilgar, Nov 24 2004

       PDTMO-WY Please don't take my organs. I abused them to the fullest whilest I yet lived. Wouldn't you? I hope by now they have the bacta or regeneration techniques. IHYHFWYSYLT (I hope you have fun while you still yet live too.)
Zimmy, Nov 24 2004


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