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Organ Donation in the United States

Are You an Organ Donor?

Except for my visits to the DMV, organ donation is not something I think about that often. Luckily, I've never needed an organ and neither has anyone close to me. I do have the organ donor sticker on my license though — if the possibility exists that I can give someone a second chance at life, then I'm all for it.

This month, a new law went into effect in Israel that encourages more of the county's citizens to become organ donors. If you become an organ donor, then you receive priority treatment if you ever need a transplant yourself. Israel has an alarmingly low rate of donors — about 10 percent of its adults. In America, a recent survey showed that although 95 percent of Americans support organ donation, only 40 percent are registered donors.

These numbers are only a reflection of deceased donors — people who donate their organs after they die. There is also a growing need for living organ donors — people who are willing to donate their kidney, or a portion of the liver, lung, intestine, or pancreas while living. And while we may have more organ donors than other countries, there are still over 100,000 people in the United States waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.

I'm curious . . .

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