Organ donation refers to giving out of a person’s body organ to somebody whose organ has malfunction and who needs a transplant. Organ transplants substantially improve the lives of the recipients and at times they save the lives of the recipients.
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However, whether or not the organ helps the recipient depends on how generous the donor is and how the family of the donor takes the organ donation. r. In virtually every country around the globe, there is a serious need for donors.
The number of people waiting for organ transplants exceeds that for the donors. In the United States, close to 100000 people are waiting for organ donations. It is however sad to note that most of these people never get suitable organs.
Some of the organs that can be donated
A number of organs can be reusable after a person dies. This is normally a very advantageous thing since at any one point; there is usually a list of sick people waiting for a matching organ. Once person who has accepted to be a donor dies, his/her organs are checked for reusability. They are then transplanted to patients with whom they are compatible.
Some of the organs that can be transplanted include the kidney, bones, bone marrows, the skin, cornea of the eye, the heart, the liver, etc (McDouglas 1). From the above discussion, it is very important that people wishing to be donors consent to the same so that their organs can be used to save lives.
Arguments for organ donation
It is normally hard to contemplate what happens after we die. However, it is good to be realistic and consider the options that are there for organ donation. This is because donating an organ is a good decision since it enables one to save lives even after his/her death.
It also gives us a chance to continue living even after we die. Organ donation is also a good way to ensure that you are dearly remembered after you die for your kindness because it is difficult for a recipient to forget somebody who saved his/her life.
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Families grieving a person who has given out one of his/her organs find it easier to mourn for the departed because they get a lot of support from the family of the recipient and they know that something good has come out of the death of their loved one. It is guaranteed that a family will be proud of a departed member is the member has saved the life of another person by donating one of his/her organs.
This is usually because the donation is not the one that makes the person die but other circumstances and it is only after death that such organs are transplanted (Stevens 1). This is despite the fact that there are situations in which a living person can donate one of his/her organs e.g. in kidney transplants.
With the hope that a matching donor will possibly be found, a patient suffering from serious illness can be better. This is because the psychology of the patient is a very important component of the healing process and thus illnesses are bound to improve if the patent is hopeful that he/she will heal at one point in his/her life.
Another benefit of donating an organ is the fact that the organ is no longer useful to you when you die and you are certain that once you donate it, it will be very helpful to somebody else to the extent that it may save his/her life. Another important aspect of organ donation is the fact that a single person can save up to five lives while organs like kidneys can be used on two people (Stevens 1).
Arguments against organ donation
There has been a worldwide shortage in organ donors due to the beliefs that people hold about organ donation. Some of these beliefs can, in actual fact, be termed as myths because they are based on false information about the process of organ donation.
One of these beliefs is the belief that when one agrees to be an organ donor, hospital staff may decline to make efforts at saving his/her life when he is sick in order for his organs to be donated to another person.
However, this is a belief that is based on wrong information since when a person is sick and he/she goes to the hospital, the doctor who he/she is assigned will be focused on saving his/her life because doctors are assigned to patients depending on the similarity of their specialty with the emergency situation of the patients (McDouglas 1).
This implies that the doctor that the patient is assigned has no interests in transplants and thus he/she will concentrate on saving the life of the patient.
There is also another belief that a person who agrees to be a donor will be declared dead before he/she dies in order for his/her organs to be used in transplantation. However, the truth is that people who have offered their organs for donation after their death are tested more than others to confirm that they are dead. This ensures that they are not wrongly declared dead.
Other people shy away from donating their organs because they hold the opinion that once they fall sick and die in hospital, their families will be charged for the costs of transplantation.
This is, however, untrue since the organ transplant costs are normally catered for by the recipient of the organ and no charge is extended to the donor. People are however confused by the charges for the last attempts to save the lives of donors. They therefore think that those charges for trying to save the life of the donors are related to the organ transplant process. This is, however, an argument that is not based on facts.
Other people are reluctant to accept being donors because they think that their religions do not accept the donation of organs.
However, the donation of organs is in line with most religions. Some of the religions that do not discourage organ donation are Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam and a good number of Judaism branches. Others argue that they are too young to donate organs.
However, once a person below 18 years of age decides to donate an organ. All he/she should do is to contact his/her parents and express his/her intention. The parents can then consent for the person to donate his/her organ (Holmes 1).
Some people also fail to donate their organs because they would prefer an open casket funeral while others think that nobody would want their organs. For the open casket funeral, it is possible to donate an organ and still have an open casket funeral. For instance, for skin donations, a thin skin layer is removed from the back.
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The area the skin is removed is barely noticeable when the body is naked but during burial, the body is clothed. In the case where a bone is donated, a rod is appropriately inserted and the body clothed to appear normal. In a nutshell, a person can donate an organ and still have an open casket funeral. The sick or elderly may argue that their organs are not worthy donating but their organs can still be proven to be useful after tests (Cutler 1).
The limitations that were previously there about donating kidneys are no longer there. Previously, you could only donate a kidney to a family member.
However, it is now possible to consent to donating a kidney even to a stranger. People have also argued that priority is given to celebrity recipients in case an organ is donated but the organ allocation process is fair and sufficient controls are in place to ensure no favoritism is applied (Patel 1). For instance, celebrity transplants are subjected to internal audits to determine their fairness.
It is good to understand organ donation because it makes the donor appreciate the decision he/she makes to donate his/her organs. It is also of essence for countries without detailed legislation on how people can donate their organs to develop these legislations since a clear legislation may make more donors to be interested in donating their organs to people.
It should be a matter of deep concern to every one of us that people are being buried every day with organs that can save other people’s lives and thus we should do our best to donate the organs that we can donate upon our deaths so that we continue to live after our deaths.
Cutler, James. “Donation benefit to organ donor families: a current debate”. 2002.
Holmes, Renee. “Benefits of organ donation”. 2010.
McDouglas, Henry. “Organ donation: Don’t let these myths confuse you”. 2010.
Patel, Kamlesh. “Organ donation”. 2010.
Stevens, Hal. “The many benefits of organ donation”. 2009.