Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Importance of Organ Donation

by Sarah Scrafford

It’s a sad but true fact of life – we don’t value our health as long as we’re healthy; it’s only when we lose it that we realize what a treasure we’ve lost, and then it’s a case of crying over spilt milk. Our organs are precious, and when any one fails to perform what it’s meant to do, we’re almost at death’s door. Man and medicine have combined to make transplants possible, the procedure by which organs from dead or almost dead people are used to give new life to those who need it.

Millions of people are on organ transplant wait lists, and there are many others who lie in a coma or are brain dead and have organs that are ready and healthy for donation. As of April 2008, there are almost 100,000 people on the waiting list, with 106 being added every day, and 18 dying each day for lack of a donor. I was witness to a heartening incident recently – a friend’s son suffered a head injury in a road accident, and the doctors pronounced that there was nothing they could do for him.

Rather than sit and cry over their son’s condition, rather than keep him hooked onto machines for an indefinite period of time during which he would literally be a vegetable, the parents chose to donate all his organs, and 8 people lived through their boy. That’s a whole lot of emotions to contend with – sadness that their son is no longer alive mixed with the feel-good factor that comes with giving a new lease of life to 8 different people.

One aspect of organ donation that remains under a cloud is the use of money to induce people to donate – this has come under fire because it could tempt people who are poor and healthy to donate organs like kidneys which we need only one of to survive. And then there’s the greater danger of the organ black market where crooks harvest organs and sell them for exorbitant rates.

There’s no doubting that more and more people are going to join that already-long waiting list, and if we are to prevent unnecessary deaths, more of us have to create awareness about organ donation and sign on to donate our organs when we’re dead and gone.


This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of EKG Certification. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address:

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network
For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

1 comment:

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