Organ Donation Organ Donation: Why Become a Donor? According to the American Medical Association (AMA) there are more than 55,000 people in the United States waiting for life-saving organs. More than 4,000 people will die this year alone waiting for an organ transplant. These statistics can easily be avoided by becoming an organ donor. The problem is that not enough people are becoming organ donors and even if they want to they are not making their decision known to family or friends. Donating vital organs, without a doubt, saves numerous lives. The number of organ transplants performed in 1994 reached and all time high while the number of organ donors remained the same (Perry).
This is evidence that the need for organ donors is on the rise. Organ donation is one way for anyone to help save lives of others. It is something that does not take a lot of effort. Here are a few simple steps to becoming an organ donor: sign an organ donor card, have a relative sign the card, keep the card in your wallet, make your wishes known to your family members, and discuss your views with your family physician. These are all ways to ensure that your wishes to become an organ donor will be met.
Approximately 93% of family members said that they would donate a deceaseds organs if they knew that was what the deceased would have wanted (Perry). These numbers are astonishing and prove, without a doubt, that making your wishes known is key in organ donation. There are many myths that are associated with organ donation. One myth is that if you choose to be a donor every effort to save your life will not be made. This is untrue because organ donation is not something that is discussed until after the doctor has signed a death certificate. Another myth is that donors are taken off life-support in order to reap their organs.
This is also untrue. A doctor takes the life support off even if they are brain dead and have no chance for recovery. If they are organ donors the life support machines are only kept on long enough to recover the organs. The largest myth of all is that religion prohibits organ sharing. Only Orthodox Judaism opposes organ donation and attitudes are even changing in that community.
Another concern is that families cannot have a proper open casket funeral, which is not true. Doctors perform the operations with the utmost care and concern as they would with any other patient of surgery. So the facts still remain to be that there is without a doubt too few organ donors and no evidence of a reason not to become and organ donor. The facts remain that there are not enough donors as there are those waiting for transplants. If people decided to make their wishes known about becoming organ donors then lives would be saved.
It is one problem that each of us can have a part in changing. People die waiting for organ donors while potential organ donors families have no idea what their loved one would have wanted. An easy way to solve this life or death problem is to become an organ donor and share those wishes with your family. Bibliography American Liver Foundation (1998, May 12). Web extension to Many Families Say No to Organ Donation.
[WWW Document]. URL http://sadieo.uesf.edu/ American Medical Association (1998, April 28). Web extension to AMA. [WWW Document]. URL http://www.ama-assn.org/ Donation Facts (1998, May 2). Web extension to The Critical Need for Donation.
[WWW Document]. URL http://www.dnaz.org/ Perry, Patrick (1995) The Greatest Gift: Organ Donation. Sunday Evening Post, 267,1,38 Science.