Originally posted at Random Dafydd.
This weekend we had an organ harvest. I hate organ harvests. Hate them. Will do any other case in the OR, with any doctor for any amount of time in order to not do them.
The reason I hate them is not rational, but what it comes down to, is I don't want to be part of the machinery of death. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that these people are already dead. I accept, at least intellectually, the concept of brain death. We are not killing them. I have no problem with organ transplantation. I will happily participate in an organ transplant. (OK, not happily, but as a happy as I am to do any other long surgery with finicky surgeons.) If I needed it, I would sign up in a heartbeat to be organ recipient. If it weren't for my medical history, I would be an organ donor.
None of that matters. We bring a patient into the room with a pulse and 02 sats, and then we take out organs and turn the machines off and send the patient to the morgue. In the pit of my stomach it feels like we are causing death. I've tried, I can't get around it. It gives me nightmares.
Luckily, the other tech on my shift doesn't have these qualms. She understands my reservations and does all of them. This weekend it looked like the cases were going to fall in such a way that I would have to do this one. I was going to suck it up and do it, but man it depressed me. But my coworker came through. Thank you.