Sorry to disappoint you but there are no good reasons for you not to be an organ donor. None at all.
Just a couple weeks ago, I finally got up the courage to become an organ donor, and it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that the process was not tiring and drawn out. It was shockingly easy. The only thing I was required to do was to make a mark on a form at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was very surprising to realize that the decision to save the lives of other people was so easy and so fast. As much as the quickness of the process was surprising, something else surprised me even more.
I was reading up about the organ donation in America since I signed up and while I was reading, I discovered a shocking fact. About 90 percent of American citizens claim to support organ donation however only a very small 30 percent have actually made any moves towards donating their own organs to someone else. But on all the social media platforms, you constantly see pictures of kids whose lives were saved because someone donated their organs being shared by a lot of people.
It gets me to wondering why these many people would share such heart touching stories and commend the organ donation program and organ donators in the comment section but would still not become organ donors themselves.
Well just in case you might think that I’m exaggerating, I have the statistics to prove it.
The following statistics and figures were published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The figures state that the number of people that need an organ to survive is 121,347. Let me make this clear, 121,347 people who range from kids to adults whose families are waiting in fear for an organ to come up for their loved ones. Despite the huge number of people needing this transplant, there have only been about 28,000 organ transplants last year and as I write about 15,000 new donors signing up. The odds are not looking good for those 121,347 people. In case the gravity of this issue has not hit you yet, this might help. Every ten minutes that passes, another person needs an organ donor, and his name is added to that list. And even though an average of 79 people get donor transplants per day, 22 other people die waiting for the organ that would have saved their lives. 22 children who will never grow to adulthood, 22 mothers who will never see their children grow into adults, 22 people who will never get another shot at life.
These 22 people aren’t just vague characters that make up a statistic; they are people. That number, 22, is made up of a young 15-year-old girl who will never attend her senior prom, it’s a young mother who will never hug her children again, it’s an 8-year-old boy who will never be the NFL player he has always wanted to be. Those 22 people are human beings who had friends and families that would miss them dearly. Those 22 people will never get a clean slate on life again, who will never get to do the things they’ve always wanted to do.
So, what are the reasons that prevent people from becoming organ donors? Let’s hear them.
1. Organ donation would maim my body, and I would not be able to have the open casket funeral that I want.
What most people don’t know is that the organs are removed via a neat surgical procedure after which the skin is sewn shut. There will be no scars or imperfections on view especially when the body has been clothed. More so, if you decide to donate something as visible as the bones, rods would be inserted in place to ensure that you look as normal as possible. So, having an open casket funeral is not such a valid reason after all. You can donate your organs and still have an open casket funeral.
2. The doctors working on me might not do their best to save my life if they knew that I was an organ donor.
I don’t know what to say except that this thinking is quite silly. The doctors only desire is to keep you alive and healthy, and it is to that goal that they incest so much, time and energy to keep you alive. The organ donation has nothing to do with either you or your organs until you have been pronounced dead. Besides that, the donor program is not even officially contacted until your death has been proven.
3. Doctors might not make certain that I am dead before calling for the harvest of my organs.
Death is determined by the lack of blood, and oxygen flow to the brain and this standard was given by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (Core). Lack of blood and oxygen to the brain is the standard medical, legal and moral cause of death. Mind you; this is very different from a being in a coma because coma patients have been known to come back to life while the loss of oxygen and blood to the brain is a final situation, there can be no coming back from it. You don’t need to worry yourself about this particular reason because organ donors undergo several other tests after death to fully determine the person’s death before their organs are harvested and transplanted.
4. I have always been a very sick person, and my organs would be useless so there is no point to sign up.
You are not a doctor and so cannot disqualify yourself. Besides, before anyone can become a donor of a particular organ, they would need to undergo several tests to determine the state of that particular organ and if it is healthy enough for a transplant. As a sick person, some of your organs might not make the cut but others might, and you will never know if you do not get tested. Don’t use your illness as an excuse, get tested first. Who knows, one of your organs might be healthy enough to be transplanted.
5. My family would have to cover the bills of the organ transplant, and that would be an additional burden to them.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Any and every cost incurred from the harvest and transplant of your organs after death would be covered, and your family need not pay for it. The only medical costs your family would be mandated to pay is any and all medical fees incurred while you were still alive. So, this is not a valid reason not to become an organ donor.
6. I would have been an organ donor if my religion wasn’t against it.
Organ donation is one of the greatest show of love from one human being to another. It is a simple act of saving a life and correct me if I’m wrong but almost every religion is based on love and peace and certainly supports any help that can be given to save another’s life. Even if I were wrong, Center for Organ Recovery and Education has said that every single major religion uses organ donation as the final act of love and sacrifice a person can make.
7. Why would I donate my organs to someone who misused his own?
Yes, some of these organs do go to people who have bad organs as a result of addiction, but there are so many other people who also need organs because of one illness or another and not because of any form of substance abuse. Think of those people, besides you cannot be sure of the circumstances of the person who will get your organ. Looking at figures though, in the organ waitlist, a percentage smaller than five, are there because they missed their organs and the few that are there have to gain and keep to sobriety before they would be considered.
If on the off chance, you still are not convinced to become an organ donor then you need to know something. Becoming an organ donor could not only save one life, but it could also save as many as 50 lives. Your sacrifice could be the only thing that will save a mother the pain of burying her little boy, give a father the joy and chance to watch his daughter grow up and walk her down the aisle, it could be the reason someone would be able to go to college and live his dream. You could be the reason someone lives to see another day.
You could be a miracle to someone somewhere. It is so easy for us to see miracles as wonderful chances. Here is your chance to be someone else’s miracle, someone else’s second chance at life. Go sign up today; the process isn’t hard. If you reside in New York, you can sign up right now online. Sign up and give someone a second chance to live.