This month is very special to me, after all organ donation has saved my life two times now! I am one of the lucky ones. There were just over 28,500 transplants in 2011 and I was one of them, but there are still over 113,000 still waiting. Those are men, women, and children in the United States alone. People have so many reasons why they do not sign up to be organ donors. Some think they are to old or have an illness that will disqualify them, some think it is against their religion, some think they won’t be able to have a proper funeral, and others think that doctors will not try to save them if they see a donor sticker.
I want to first address the last one, as it is one I recently heard (from someone in my own family no less) First and foremost, doctors really do follow the oath they take to do no harm, they can be sued and lose their license otherwise. Second, the doctors that work on you in an emergency situation are not the same doctors that perform transplants (most of the time it’s not even in the same hospital) So they aren’t going to profit any if you are an organ donor or you aren’t. Lastly, doctors have no idea if your organs will even be able to be used until they have been assessed by a transplant team. The other reasons I mentioned above are also myths. Most religions agree that organ donation is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others, and families can still have a traditional viewing and funeral when tissue and organs are donated. As for age and diseases, there are few diseases that will disqualify you, and as long as your organs are healthy, no one is going to mind if their new organs are a little more “mature”… we are just happy to be alive!
Basically, there are very few reasons why anyone could not sign up to be an organ donor. It doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be able to give the gift of life when your time comes, but why not try? Let the doctors decide if someone else can be saved by you. That person and their families will always keep you in their hearts, you will be their hero and will live on!
I hope that this gives you something to think about. You can get more information on donation here, and stories from patients and donors here. 18 people die everyday waiting for a life saving transplant, please sign up to be a donor and discuss your wishes with your family (even if you are a registered donor, your next of kin can go against your wishes when you die if you don’t educate them and explain how important this decision is.) I wouldn’t be here with my family today if it wasn’t for the selfless decision of my two heroes! Live Life then Give Life!!
I also challenge you to take the Hope Card challenge by printing the form below and passing it on!
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.