When you get your driver’s license, one of the questions that you’ll likely be asked is if you wish to be an organ donor. By having this marked on your license, authorities can begin the process of saving your organs should an unforeseen event occur to you without having to get the permission of your designated loved ones. Time is often of the essence to preserve an organ so that it can be donated to someone else so that their life may be saved, which is why so many people choose to donate their organs. Some people may have health issues that prevent organ donation, while others may have ethical issues.
Here Are the Pros of Organ Donation
Just one organ donation can save up to eight lives. How it saves lives depends on the reason for the transplant. For some, it may mean the discontinuation of costly routine treatments to continue life, such has kidney dialysis. For others, it could mean the gift of sight is restored. Critical organs, like the heart, can provide a longer lifespan for those who receive the organ. With over 100,000 people in the United States alone waiting for a transplant, there is a great need.
For those who have lost a loved one, organ transplants provide a sense of continuation of those that have been prematurely lost. A donated heart continues pumping in the chest of someone else, meaning a small piece of that loved one continues to survive and thrive, even if they are not physically alive any more. This can provide an immense sense of comfort.
Some organs can be donated without a tragedy too. Portions of the liver, pancreas, lung, and intestines can all be donated, as well as an entire kidney, with a minimal risk during the surgery of complications. This often occurs on a family-to-family basis, but it is not unheard of for strangers to donate organs to other strangers.
Here Are the Cons of Organ Donation
For those that are not medically restricted from donating organs, the primary issue that families have with it is an emotional one. Bodies are often kept on artificial life support to keep the organs alive, meaning that a heartbeat and other body functions may still appear to be functioning. Organs are never medically taken unless there is no brain activity whatsoever. This is confirmed before the process of organ donation begins.
Some families also may struggle with who receives the donated organs. There are stigmas that people sometimes have against different races, religions, and ethnicities that may be found to be bothersome. This social issue can even be enough to prevent people from choosing to be organ donors at all because they cannot guarantee who would receive their organs should something unforeseen happen.
Is Becoming an Organ Donor Right For You?
Not everyone can become an organ donor, so the choice isn’t always available to everyone. For those that can donate organs, however, the fact that up to eight lives could be saved because of something you chose to do means that your gift of life can continue to provide life, even if you are gone. That’s why so many people choose to become organ donors.