Categorized | Featured, Opinions

Donate life: why everyone should consider becoming an organ donor

Posted on 12 February 2016 by admin

Give a gift of hope to save and enrich lives

By: EVAN CARLEN
Staff Writer

 

Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine; a success I witnessed firsthand through a recent personal tragedy in which I lost a great friend.

Through this hardship I found deep closure in knowing that my friend did not die in vain, but in fact saved two lives through donating his heart and liver to those who would have died otherwise.

He transcends death through the lives he saved and the hope he cultivated.

Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives. In fact, according to donatelife.net, one person can save eight lives through postmortem organ transplants of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and intestinal tissues as well as positively impact upwards of 50 people through eye and tissue transplants.

With all this hope lingering for more than 123,000 people on the transplant waiting list, what is stopping so many of us from donating?

Many people take shelter behind the veil that is religion, saying life is not to be tampered with or that the integrity of the body must be maintained for the afterlife. Sorry guys, but the church is built upon the helping of others – which by definition is tampering with life, albeit a positive tamper. Why not positively tamper in a way that could save a handful of lives?

Also the Pope himself is a strong proponent of organ transplants and is even quoted saying, “organ donation is a testimony of love for our neighbor.”

This is the same pope that is pro-cremation, which most would agree leaves little “integrity” in its wake.

This is not the whole story; what is most striking to me is the large disparity between the number of people who say that they support donation in theory and the number of people who actually register. I believe this is because many supporters have a pre-conceived notion that they are invincible and will not ever have the opportunity to donate.

Oops, you tripped over reality and now have missed your chance to save lives. This is why I would like the government to get involved and make donating an opt-out system instead of the current opt-in system.

This would make everyone a donor by default unless the family refused the procedure process. This would not only remove the difficult decision during an even more difficult time for the family, but it would also eliminate the fact that most people do not think about postmortem circumstances while still alive.

“Unless you’re personally touched by the issue – unless you have a child that gets a virus and suddenly needs a new heart – you don’t really think about it,” said Adam Vasser, a 30-year-old teacher who received a new heart himself at age 13.

Currently more than 123,000 men, women and children are waiting on organ transplants to save their lives. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor today – not when you go to get your license renewed, and help provide hope to those who wait. Your organs make a difference. You make a difference.

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