Every day, approximately 77 people receive an organ transplant. With nearly 200,000 individuals on the national organ transplant list, countless of lives depend each hour on those who decide to donate their organs upon their departure. While one’s death is always a grim subject, it is a decision best taken by the donors while they are still alive, sparing their grieving families from having the talk with doctors.
Thousands of Sick Individuals Await a Second Chance
Every 10 minutes, a person is added to the national organ transplant list, and only 77 receive the much-needed organ during a day. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives because they didn’t receive a transplant on time.
According to Dr. Burcin Taner, Mayo Clinic’s chair of the Transplantation Department, the decision to donate one’s organs should be made while the individual is still alive. This way, the person spares their family from having to think about it, and speeds up the harvesting processes – which is always time-sensitive as organs remain viable a short time after the patient dies.
Moreover, Taner was keen on mentioning that donated organs offer a second chance to people that receive a premature death sentence.
“Thanks to the availability of donated organs, along with regular blood donations that replenish the blood supply so critical to the transplant process, many people will live who might not otherwise have hope.”
The Easiest Way is to Inform the Family
According to popular belief, by signing a donor card or checking the box on the driver’s license is enough to let doctors know that, in the event of an untimely death, the owner of said papers wishes to donate their organs. However, the system doesn’t work that way at all.
Doctors always turn to the next of kin to seek permission for organ harvesting, so instead of getting a donor card, it’s best to inform members of the family of any donation intention. Furthermore, in the case of a person with no family to agree with the donation, doctors recommend assigning power of attorney to a person who will grant the donor’s wishes.
For those who fear that they couldn’t donate their organs even if they wanted to because they have minor medical issues, remember that there are a handful of disorders that can stop a person from becoming an organ donor.
Image Source: Flickr