Nearly 97,000 very ill Americans are on waiting lists for organ donations but, if past is prologue, most of them will not receive what they need this year.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 26,000 organ transplant operations were performed nationwide in 2007. Just over 13,000 donors provided the organs to save other lives and, obviously, many individual donors provided multiple organs.
According to PennDOT, 43.5 percent of Pennsylvania’s licensed drivers have indicated, on their licenses, a willingness to be an organ donor.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Institute for Good Medicine recently conducted a survey, asking: “Since you are not currently an organ donor, have you considered becoming one?” Of respondents, 42.6 percent said they have not considered it; 37.5 percent said they have considered it but do not feel comfortable with the idea; and 19.9 percent said they plan to sign as donors but have not yet done so.
Through PennDOT, the state should make a more concerted effort, through regular licensing correspondence, to advise Pennsylvanians of the urgent need for organ donors. Information also should be made available at licensing centers, where licensees usually have to wait for at least a few minutes, and where a reminder might cause more of them to say “yes” when asked if they would be willing to be an organ donor.
Anyone interested in obtaining a donor card may do so though PennDOT’s Web site.
No one wants to think about death, or the circumstance that leads to organ donation. But early death is doubly tragic when it also entails a lost opportunity to save other lives.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Your generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 through tissue donation