Donating organs as important as donating blood

Marla Schevker

Seventy-four people receive organ transplants everyday. However, every day 19 people die while waiting for a transplant that will not take place because of the shortage of donated organs. That’s 6,395 people who die every year because they cannot get an organ transplant.

Becoming an organ donor is one of the easiest and most important things an individual can do. A person can donate blood and bone marrow while they are still alive and organs and tissue after they have died. An individual can donate their heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, intestines, many different tissues, blood and bone marrow. Being an organ donor can save the lives of up to 8 people and donating tissue can enhance the lives of another 50 people. That’s a lot of people that can be helped by one individual’s donation.

It isn’t difficult to become an organ donor; all it takes is two important things. First of all, it is important for an individual to discuss their wish to become an organ donor with their family. Sometimes family members do not know the wishes of the deceased, such as to become an organ donor after they have died, and their desire to become an organ donor can go unnoticed because the family doesn’t know.

Also, an individual needs to take an organ donor card with them in their wallets. Anyone can register at their local DMV and people in California can register online at It’s a simple questionnaire that ensures an individual’s wishes to become an organ donor are kept. The Web site offers a simple card for the individual to print out and keep with them, as not only identification for the individual but an acknowledgement of their wishes.

When a person signs up to donate their organs, it is important to specify what they feel comfortable donating. If a person does not want to have their organs donated to research, or does not want to share specific organs or tissues, there is an accommodation for that. It is as easy as indicating which organs the individual wants to donate on the organ donating form. The form leaves places for individuals to mention what they feel comfortable with and it will have to be respected.

Some common misconceptions of donating organs include that it will not fit in with an individuals religious beliefs. The truth is most religions look at organ donating as an act of benevolence. Especially after a person has already died, helping those who are sick is an act of compassion.

Another misconception is that the doctors will take out an individuals’ organs before they are decidedly dead. However, that is not the case. For brain dead patients, they are checked by multiple doctors to make sure they really can’t come back. Promising to be an organ donor still means that an individual has a right to live their life to the fullest. The healthier an individual is the more likely their organs will be compatible with the person in need of the transplant.

An individual can donate before they die. Blood drives are set up at high school parking lots and often time in grocery store parking lots for convenience. Donating blood is just as helpful as donating organs. Blood transfusions are used when an individual, among other things, gets an in an accident or has to have surgery. Blood banks are also used to store donated blood for an emergency.

People should become organ donors to give back to society after they have died. It is easy to do and can help save the lives of countless people. Organ transplants save many people and give them their lives back. One person can help many get back their lives without even really trying. All it takes is becoming an organ donor and anyone can make a difference.