Organ donation

Dear Dan,

I know you wanted to donate your organs. I got a call from the organ donation group in KC the day after you committed suicide. The woman on the other end was very nice. She was very delicate in describing the organs that could possibly be “harvested,” depending on the damage done when you landed.

At that point I was so hopeful that something good could be salvaged from the situation. She mentioned the type of testing that would be done before the organs were donated. Of course I thought AIDS testing was a good idea. At that point she asked if you were gay. Apparently the FDA does not allow transplant from anyone with a history of any homosexual activity. None at all.

That’s when I asked Brian point blank. I told him we always “knew” but   that you hadn’t “come out” to us. Of course not. No more than you would have “come out” that your eyes were brown.

I called the woman back  and told her we had confirmation. That I was sorry but we could not donate your organs. One or two people would not see because they would not have your corneas. Two people would have to wait for other heart valves. You would not be donating bone marrow and helping someone with leukemia.

I understand the problem. My head tells me that the AIDS tests cannot test for AIDS in tissue. My head tells me that you can test negative for viral load if you are on certain cocktails.

However, my heart tells me that they were rejecting my dear, now dead, brother. His last wish would not be granted. Almost as if he wasn’t good enough!

As if your death was not heartache enough.

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