Organ donation saves lives. According to USA Today, 70 people receive organs through transplants each day, yet 16 people die each day due to lack of organs. Becoming an organ donor saves lives. It's a personal decision, though, and should be thought out carefully. Before making your decision, you should know the facts. In my time, I've heard a number of myths and untruths regarding donation and transplantation. I'd like to clear things up.
Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of medical history, age, or race.
All major religions of the United States support organ donation, and see it as a charitable act, one of love and generosity.
If you are admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is preserving your life. You will receive the same treatment as someone who is not an organ donor.
There is absolutely no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
Transplant recipients are not people who have destroyed their organs through abuse, waiting for organs to abuse all over again. When a recipient is on the waiting list for an organ, their placement on that list is based on several things: the severity of the illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.
That last one is a big one, and I hear it often. Some people think potential recipients may not deserve a second chance on life since they apparently didn't take care of themselves if they've reached the point of needing new organs. I'd like to dispel this thought once and for all. There are illnesses and diseases out there that destroy organs through no fault of the people who are sick. Transplant recipients go through various stages of screening to determine risk factors, eligibility, and severity of their condition. People on the waiting list deserve to be there.
I'd like to share some statistics from a company called "Share Your Life America":
Almost 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
In 2005, there were 7,593 deceased organ donors and 6,895 living organ donors resulting in 28,108 organ transplants.
In 2005, 44,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.
Approximately 1,000,000 tissue transplants are performed annually.
According to research, 98% of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86% have heard of tissue donation.
90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
As stated previously, organ donation is a personal decision. I only ask that you consider becoming a donor. Signing a donor card or registering as a donor on your driver's license may not be enough. Each state has specific requirements. It's also important to inform your family of your decision. In the end, you have the potential to save many lives.
Organ donation saves lives. It's that simple.