Why You Should Consider Organ Donation

November 12, 2012

Why You Should Consider Organ Donation

Did you know that after you die, your organs can save as many as eight people? You can also donate your entire body to medical science to help future doctors save lives and reduce suffering. Organ donation and body donation is not the grisly business that the popular media often make it out to be. Organ donation and corpse donation can be a positive way to celebrate your life by granting life to others.

Who Pays the Costs?

Legally, organ donation after death is called “anatomical gifts.” If you decide to give your anatomical gifts, you need to put this wish into writing while you are still alive. Just telling your best friend may not be sufficiently legal enough to have your organs used for others after your death. Some states or provinces in North America have a space on your driver’s license to indicate whether you wish your organs to be donated to others.

There is a myth that doctors get paid extra if they are able to harvest organs from the freshly dead. This is not true. There is another myth that the family of the deceased has to pay for the costs of removing the organs. This is also untrue. The people who receive the organs are ultimately responsible for paying the costs. If they are lucky, their medical insurance will also help pay for the organ donation.

Saving Lives

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 18 people dies every day waiting for an organ transplant. That’s just in America. The number of deaths worldwide is unknown. By donating your organs, you can help lower these statistics.

In recent years, Americans, Canadians and Europeans in need of an organ transplant have resorted to desperate measures to get a healthy organ. They will travel to India or China to undergo an ethically shaky organ transplant operation. Kidneys are sold by poor Indians, but they are often cheated of their money after giving up a kidney. In China, organs are harvested from the freshly executed.

What About Your Age?

One common misconception about organ donation is that you have to be less than a certain age in order for your body parts to be of any use. This is wrong. It is not your age when you die that matters – it is what condition your individual organs are. Even if you have suffered from a chronic but non-contagious, non-cancerous medical condition like asthma, your liver, skin, eyes and skin may still help others.

Another reason to get your wish to donate your organs (or not to donate your organs, that is the question) in writing can be your age. The older you get before getting your wishes placed in writing, the more your surviving loved ones have to deal with after you die. Depending on local law, hospitals may request permission to harvest healthy organs from the recently deceased from your loved ones. Getting your wishes written down on multiple documents while you are still alive and of a sound mind will make sure that your wishes are carried out.

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