Organ Donation: Could You Do It?

Donate Life Event with Terri Lynn Land at SpectrumIf you had a chance to save the life of someone you may or may not know could you make that decision?   According to the National Donor Waiting List the number of recipients on the waiting as of October 14, 2009 is 104,335 patients.  Between January-July 2009 only 16,679 received an organ transplant with only 8,543 donors.   Most patients will lose the battle before they can even move up on the list.   There are more patients in need of organ transplant then there are donors to give.  Most people don’t know the facts about organ donation so I will explain how it works and debunk some of the myths that most people are concerned with.

Most people don’t know what organ or tissue donation means.   Its simple part of your tissue or part of your organs are giving to a candidate in need of a kidney or liver or heart.   Anyone can donate but if your under 18 years of age you need permission from your parent to donate.

The donor is never charged with the expenses usually the patients insurance pays for the  donation.   The donor is not compensated either.Kidney disease strikes 20 million americans that means that 1 out of every 9 adults are at risk of kidney disease.   Heart disease is major cause of death for people with Kidney Disease.   The major causes of this disease is High Blood Pressure and diabetes.   This is how my husbands father passed away he was a diabetic and went into renal failure.   Renal failure is the end stage of kidney disease and if someone doesn’t get a transplant they will eventually die.   Most are on dialysis but that is just a temporary fix.   What people should know is that kidney disease runs in families its heriditary.

The Mayo Clinic is the largest transplant center in the country and is the leader in transplant research.   There are approximately over 100,000 patients on the waiting list for a transplant and the number grows by 300 every day.   About 77 with receive a transplant  but 19 patients will die each day before given a transplant.   Amazingly one person can save eight lives and enhance the lives of 50 others.

Now I would like to debunk some myths as I stated earlier in my paper.   Some people are afraid that if they agree to donate then they go to the emergency room that the doctor won’t work to hard to save them.  Not true, when you go to the hospital the doctor focuses on saving your life not someone elses.  Another myth is that people are afraid that doctors will sign a death certificate before your dead.   Before any organs are removed the deceased undergo a series of tests to be sure they are truly dead.   Some say religion plays a role in the decision.   That’s not true quite a few religions belief in donation.  For instance, Catholics, Protestants, Jewish and Islam.   Another fear is that loved ones want an open casket and are afraid if organs are donated that cannot happen.   Not true, clothing covers any incisions, and for eye donations a false eye is inserted and eyes are closed.  For bone donations a rod is inserted where bone is removed and for skin the donation is usually on the back and covered with a thin layer of skin.

Maybe I am to old…there is no guideline on age donation is by criteria, some think they aren’t in good enough health or they have bad eye sight again that is based on criteria.   You have to be dead before you can donate…again not true you can become a live donor and donate a kidney or blood or even bone marrow.       While some people have moral and religious reasons against donating an organ or tissue, the fact is that its an ethical issue.   Decided whether to donate your organs or those of a deceased loved ones organs is a big decision.   A decision that for some cannot be taken lightly.   Everyone should discuss their wishes with their family so the family knows the wishes.   You can decide which organs you want to donate its not like you give them the body and they cut it up.    Every thing is done with high respect and regard.

People choose to donate for different reasons, I have signed a donor card cause I feel that for me my death would not be in vain.   I would still have a part of me out in world and even though my mortality was gone.   My family would be relieved to know that part of me is still alive and keeping someone else that way and human life means a great deal to me.

I have gathered all the facts and I can’t think of any reason why not to donate.    If we can all remember that everyday 19 people die, and everyday 300 more are added to the list and only 77 get a transplant everyday.   It just does not balance out.   One person can save eight lives and make a difference for 50 lives a day if people would just donate.   Your not losing anything but someone else is.

Article written by LeCita Rodriguez as an English assignment on a topic very close to her heart.

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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