Anyone can save a life! Whether you’re 18 or 108 you can apply to save someone’s life by making the decision to donate your organs and/or tissues before you have passed away. On the Australian Government’s Organ and Tissues Authorities webpage you can find some questions that may be very helpful in deciding whether or not to become an organ or tissue donor. They state that just here in Australia about 1,400 people are on the organ transplant waiting list. A statistic is given by the Australian Government’s Organ and Tissues Authorities states “in 2017, 510 deceased organ donors and their families gave 1,402 Australians a new chance in life”.
Can you imagine? 1,402 people saved and given a fresh start by having a complete stranger make such a generous donation. More statistics from UPMC Health Beat’s website states, “A single organ donor may save up to eight people and a single tissue donor may enhance the lives of up to 50 people”. Not only will you be saving one life but you will be saving many lives that are in desperate need of an organ or tissue donor.
The idea behind organ and tissue donation is the concept that your organs and or tissues can be used for the greater good. Your organs and tissues don’t have to pass on when you do. It is a selfless and gracious gift to give what you cannot use anymore.
If you choose to become an organ or tissue donor after the operation the funeral and burial or cremation can go on as planned without change. It is very possible to still have an open casket and or cremation services after donating. Just because you have donated your organs or tissue does not mean that you cannot have the funeral that you wanted. Everything that would be planned is still possible, the only thing that changes is that you could be saving many lives!
Although you can choose to donate your organs you cannot choose who it goes to. Your organs and tissues will be brought to someone in need who is dying or very ill depending on their status on the wait list for organs or tissue donation (Australian Government’s Organ and Tissues Authorities).
It is important to note that sometimes even if you are an organ donor you may not be able to get your organs or tissues to the person on the list in time to successfully go through with a transplant. Organs do begin to deteriorate after blood flow is no longer happening through them. Make sure your family members know your organ donor status so that they can help you help someone else in an efficient manner. Understand that your family members can change their minds about whether to donate your organs or not all the way up to when the deceased is taken to the operating room. Therefore it is really important to have the discussion with your family about your desire to donate your organs and tissue so that they are aware of and will respect your wishes in this regard.
Services, T. (Ed.). (2018, May 10). How Many Lives Can One Organ Donor Affect? Retrieved June 20, 2018, from https://share.upmc.com/2015/04/the-impact-of-one-organ-donor/