Why should you join the organ donor register? It could be one of the most important things you'll ever do in your life - allowing other people to live after your death. Nobody likes to think about mortality, but transplants give people with failing organs the chance to survive. Here are some amazing reasons why you should join the organ donor register …
1. Saves Lives
One of the most important reasons to join the organ donor register is that it saves lives. In the US alone, 18 people die every day because of a lack of donor organs, and there are now 105,000 on the waiting list for a transplant (source: womenshealth.gov). If your organs are able to be used, as well as saving lives, they can also improve the quality of life of many people.
2. Multiple Organs
When you join the register, your organs can save not just one person's life, but several. Your kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and small bowel can all be used. You could make a vast difference to several people's lives. Isn't that a marvellous thought?
3. Make Your Wishes Clear
If you don't make your wishes clear, then when the time comes your family may decide that they don't want to agree to donating your organs. Some people feel that they don't want to donate the organs of their loved ones because they don't want their body to be 'cut up'. By joining the register you are clearly stating that you want your organs to be used. In the UK, the family do not have the right to override a person's wishes.
4. We Don't Need Them
Our organs are no use to us after we're dead - but they could make a huge difference to someone else. To put it bluntly, once we die our bodies are going to be buried or cremated. It seems a terrible shame to let useful organs be destroyed when they could save lives …
5. Up the Chances
Of all the people who sign up to the organ donor register, few of their organs are viable for transplant. Unfortunately the organs have to be transplanted very soon after death, and most people don't die in hospital. So the more people that sign up to the register, the greater the chance of organs being available for the people that need them. Help increase those odds by signing up as a donor.
6. Happy to Receive
People may not sign up to the register because of apathy or squeamishness. But consider this: If you desperately needed a donor organ, you'd be happy if someone donated an organ for you! So you should equally be prepared to donate yours. Don't put off signing up because you'll 'get around to it some day.' Make that day now.
7. Tissue Donation
Tissue such as skin, tendons and corneas may not save a life, but they can be taken up to 48 hours after death. For example, skin grafts help burns victims and corneas can save someone's sight. So even if a person doesn't die in hospital, their tissue may still be usable. Even bones can be transplanted!
Encourage your family and friends to join the register as well, and also to give blood. It's a wonderful gesture that could be a lifesaver, and knowing that you've helped someone else live could also be a comfort to your family. Have you ever saved a life?