Liver Donation Support
Prior to liver donation, support should be sought from a person called an "advocate doctor," who can answer your questions and concerns about the procedure. This doctor is not part of your transplant team, but will examine you and explain any tests, as well as the transplant process. Liver donation support can also be found at several organizations, such as the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Liver Donation Support: An Overview
It's important that you have all of your questions and concerns addressed before you decide whether to be evaluated as a possible liver donor.
To help you make the best decision, in addition to your transplant team, a doctor who is not part of the transplant team will be available to you. He or she will examine you and talk to you about the tests you will need to have done and how the transplant process may affect you physically and emotionally. This person is called an "advocate doctor."
Be sure to talk openly and honestly with the advocate doctor and the transplant team about the liver donor evaluation. They all want you to make the decision that's right for you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Hospital chaplains are also available to offer spiritual counseling to those wanting this extra support. Many medical centers also have other resources, such as support teams of social workers and other professionals that work specifically with people thinking about donating an organ.
Brochures about organ donation, including liver transplants, can be found on the American Society of Transplantation Web site at www.a-s-t.org.
For more information, you can also visit the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Web site at www.unos.org.
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) also has a Web site. It can be found at www.optn.org.