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Organ Donation: A Way to Make a Difference in the World, Even in Death

Madi Keezer

Posted on January 5, 2021 03:39

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Organ donation is a practice that saves and improves many lives, but thousands of people die a year waiting for one.

       Recently, while going through my bookshelf, I came across a book called Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel. Although I haven’t read it since middle school, it’s still burned into my brain. The book detailed a girl who got struck by lightning and received skin transplants on her face. Reading this as a twelve-year-old, I was freaked out.  They described the character’s donor, along with how she had died and how her parents must feel. The book detailed the ethical dilemma that the protagonist had with adopting some else’s face. 

       What I realized after finishing the book is that after the initial shock of organ donation, it’s truly a beautiful thing. However, learning the facts about it years later is dismaying. According to Donor Network West, 110,000 people in the US are currently waiting on a life-saving organ. Every ten minutes, another person is added to the list, waiting for someone to bail them out of their personal purgatory between life and death. Chances are, they won’t ever get an organ in time. Every day, 20 people die on the organ waitlist. 

       It’s not that people don’t want to donate. 95% of Americans are in favor of donation. However, only 58% of them are registered. Because only 1% of deaths are eligible to be a donor, patients need every donor they can get. At this point, the issue is getting potential donors to register.

Unfortunately, it could be argued that human beings are naturally lazy. Although we may want to do something, unless it's of paramount importance it may drop lower and lower on our to-do lists until it slides off completely. Some are under the impression that you must go to the DMV in order to register as a donor. Understandably, no one wants to make a special trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles unless they have to.

However, one can also register online or through the Health app on an iPhone. It is as convenient as it can get, yet people still do not register. To solve this issue, I would propose an opt-out system, as some other countries have. This would mean that instead of having to register to be a donor, people would automatically be registered until they opted out. This would give the 95% of willing donors the chance to actually save lives.

A lot of people spend their lives trying to make a difference, but in their death, one person can save up to 8 lives and improve 75. If you are willing to be a donor, please check if you are registered or register here.

Madi Keezer

Posted on January 5, 2021 03:39

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Source: 13 News Now

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