This can become obvious in many ways, but most recently when a word I used was misconstrued and generated problems because of the “value” assigned to it by someone reading the report. An individual died tragically and because of the type of gentleman he was his organs were donated to save the lives of others. When asked by the media I gave what I thought was a fairly neutral and thought-out statement in response to questions regarding his organ donation, already known to at least some of the reporters, and the fact that he was pronounced dead over 24 hours after the crash. Apparently, my choice of words was not neutral. In response to their request for an apology or retraction, I have sent the following to the paper with a request that they print it soon:
My use of the phrase “organs were procured”, recently, has caused some confusion and concern and, most unfortunately, pain. The statement was used in the online version of a Daily Herald article on September 5. This is the terminology used by agencies and others involved in organ and tissue donation when organs are obtained by donation for transplantation and recipient use. This is most readily evidenced by the name of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, a national organization dedicated to ethical organ and tissue donation. It may be jargon, but it is the correct terminology in these instances.
I apologize that the use of this unfamiliar term created concern and pain for the family of this individual who died tragically. The word “procured” was used without any intent to denote the illegal, and unethical, action of buying or selling organs that has happened in other areas of this country and elsewhere.
I and the Lake County Coroner’s Office strongly support organ donation and celebrate the lives that organ donation is able to save.
Again my apologies to those who may have been offended.