Become A Donor!

Molly Trunfio, Special to The Big Red

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Upon filling out dozens of forms at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, I approached one question that made me turn to my mother for the answer. Am I an Organ Donor? My mom’s answer was quite obvious, and she did not even require a moment to think. Yes. I was. At the time I didn’t give the topic much consideration.

When the following statistics are contemplated, the answer to whether you should be an organ donor is undoubtedly clear.

About every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. Roughly 20 people die every day while waiting for a transplant. Just one organ donor can save up to eight people’s lives. Currently, about 115,000 people are on the transplant waiting list and are anxiously anticipate a lifesaving organ. Sadly, only about 45% of U.S. citizens are registered organ donors.

The staggering statistic of 45% made me wonder why more than half of America is unwilling to help.

People are less likely to become donors if they lack trust in the medical profession. They usually don’t trust doctors or anyone in the medical field. These people truly believe that if they were on the verge of dying, medics would not try as hard to save them because they are listed as organ donors.

This is a very common misconception. Other people are reluctant to join the donation list due to their unhealthy lifestyle. For example smokers, drug addicts, and drinkers usually don’t opt to donate because they feel that at least one of their organs is essentially damaged. Doctors, however, can evaluate organs when one dies and will pursue putting as many organs as possible to good use.

Another factor in choosing not to donate is that some religions do not condone donating organs. In my opinion, donating an organ to keep another human being alive is the most sacred, selfless act that almost certainly would be looked upon favorably in God’s eyes.

A major reason for people to deny becoming an organ donor is that they feel uncomfortable talking about it. They feel as though death is a taboo topic, and they find the idea of organ donation, on the whole, disgusting.

Another large majority of nondonors believe that they are too old, and they assume their organs are no longer useful. This could not be more untrue. Anyone, no matter their age, can donate their organs and save people’s lives.

To me, it seems very conceited for people to fail to register as organ donors. It feels like the nondonor person thinks that they are special and nobody else deserves their functioning organs. After you die, your organs do not remain with you, they are disposed of, so you might as well save lives if you are capable of doing so. Many people of all ages are in great need of help.

I always try to encourage people to become donors, as it is easy to do and a general act of goodwill. There are simply no reasons for anyone to not be a donor.

There needs to be more public outreach about this topic.

Political people who are active in supporting or opposing many issues, seem not to be nearly as vocal as they should be on truly lifesaving topics. There are far too few people recruiting donors, and there is a severe shortage of donors.

Please try to recruit as many family members and friends as you can to become organ donors. More donors mean that there are fewer people on the transplant waiting list suffering daily.