I’m sure we all have been asked by our physicians or an emergency room staff member if we are an organ donor. Did it ever occur to you to register as an organ donor? Nope, I am not talking about donating that musical instrument with strong spiritual sounds ringing from the keyboards that you often find in worship institutions. I’m speaking of organs such as kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the intestines. Or tissue donation such as corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
Recently, I was sent a survey to complete for an organization I am a member of, in a campaign to get its members to register as an organ donor. I have to admit that I thought about signing up, but never really pursued the thought any further. After watching the 2002 movie “John Q” starring Denzel Washington, it made me rethink my hesitation and decision to give life after death. In case many of you have not seen this movie, John Q is a film by Nick Cassavetes; starring Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald, a father and husband whose son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and then finds out he cannot receive a transplant because his HMO insurance will not cover it. Therefore, he decides to take a hospital full of patient’s hostage until the hospital puts his son’s name on the recipient’s list. As the movie climaxes, just when John Q decides to take his life so that his son could have his heart, a young lady who was in a fatal car accident, was an organ donor and miraculously her heart was flown to the hospital to be implanted in John Q’s son. (Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Q)
Here are some interesting facts from the website of Donate Life America, to help you understand the truth vs. the myths of organ donation:
Fact: Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
Fact: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
Fact: When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.
Fact: An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
A national computer network, the OPTN (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) matches donated organs with recipients throughout the country. Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background. Consequently, a lack of organs donated by multicultural populations can contribute to longer waiting periods for transplantation.
For more information, check out these following websites: http://organdonor.gov/ and http://www.donatelife.net. Also, check out this clip of a touching story where a little girl’s heart, becomes a humungous gift of life, that gives a mother a second chance! http://news.mydaily.com/2010/09/23/heart-to-heart/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl8%7Csec1_lnk2%7C172553.