Organ Donation

Organ Donation As of 1995 there were 30,000 people on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant. Another person joined the list every twenty minutes, which at this rate the list would grow to 50,000 by 1997(Public Health, Internet). An estimated seven people will die today while waiting to receive the vital organs they need. These people depend on health donors to save their life. Many, however, chose not to donate because of the misconceptions of the donation process. Today I’d like to inform you on the myths of organ donation so you can better understand the process of becoming a donor. Commonly asked questions about organ donation: Where can I get an organ donor card? The answer to this question is you do not need one. You need to inform your family or a close friend.

Consent is the key. Who pays for the medical costs of being a donor? The recipient covers all costs and some cases the recipient will pay all funeral costs. Does organ donation disrupt funeral arrangements? No, funeral arrangements are the same for both donor/nondonors. Will becoming a donor mean a doctor will let me die? No, in the eyes of the doctors both lives are sacred. Should I mention being an organ donor in my will? This is a trick question.

We all know this is a myth because your will is read after you die. It’s too late, you must communicate while you are still alive(Journal,94). Two myths the preferential treatment on the US waiting list and the racism myth are often mention in our media. The preferential treatment is when some one receives special privileges over another recipient. For example in 1995 Mickey Mantle, a famous baseball player, received a liver transplant and many recipient complained because they Mantle received their liver due to his fame.

The racism myth says many minorities feel racism. This decreases the chance of organ donation, which decreases the chance of getting the specific donor(Journal,94). Bad press and movies portraying organ transplantation as evil are only some of the reasons why more individuals have false ideas about donation and do not support it. This is a direct result of not having the education resources needed to develop effective public health campaigns. According to the Gallop public opinion polls, individuals have high levels of support for organ transplantation, however, when these individuals are actually approached to donate their loved ones organs, few actually go through with the transplant. Once these myths have been dispelled and the questions have been answered then people will have the knowledge they need to make the decision of whether or not to become an organ donor.

So the next time you are asked if you are a donor remember an estimated seven people die today while waiting to receive a vital organ they need. Everyone deserves a chance to live longer.