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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 . . .

Join The Conversation
EleanorPeregrine EleanorPeregrine 5 years
I donated my left kidney to a 9-year old girl I had never met three years ago. We are both healthy and happy. It is the best thing I have done in this lifetime and I have no regrets. If you are able, please consider live donation. Don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 7 years
Jemma84, so sorry for the delayed response. You can go to I did not pay anything to donate. They send you a kit in the mail. You swab your cheeks and send it off.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
how is it selfish if you want to protect the sacredness of your own body? this doesn't have anything to do with religion.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
they convince your relatives to do it. and btw you could read my post more carefully and see that i said 'of course they'd be sure you're a vegetable'. that has happened to people i know - he was thought to be brain dead and doctors asked the family to pull the plug. they waited. and the person finally came around. that's what i call a miracle. and the device to read if a person is really brain dead has only been invented a few months back (or was it in the papers a few months back?). they found a man who has been in a comma for over 10 years was not really braindead at all.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Allyta: where did you get the idea that "if you're in a coma, medics are more likely to swith off the lift support" ? Did you read it somewhere? Hear it from someone? Legally, the medics (or doctors, or nurses) cannot turn off life support. To do that they need (1) permission from your family/ next of kin, and/ or (2) your living will, directing them to do such. It's not like you slip into a coma and the plug is pulled five minutes later so they can chop you up. Honestly, and I know it's to each her own, but barring any religious reasons, I think it's horriby selfish not to donate.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
i have been trying to decide for the last 6 years. still haven't. i think i need some more growing up to do. though to support swedishchica05 point - if you're in a comma medics are more likely to switch you off life support, of course they'd be sure you're a vegetable, but i believe in miracles. who knows, a person might wake up, but if they're switched off and then chopped for parts - the life goes to waste.
Jemma84 Jemma84 7 years
Of course, I'd hope if I no longer needed my organs, they could save some other lives. I am a registered donor. I'd definitely consider live donation for a family member or friend as well. Nikki, how did you register for bone marrow? I'd like to do that. I have seen one bone marrow drive before, but it was $25 to get registered and I was a poor college student at the time so I couldn't do it.
2muchtv 2muchtv 7 years
I'm officially a donor, first in the family. Reason I'm first is because my parents are just lazy (but we talked, and they'd donate). I think opt-out is better than opt-in. I would not do live donations, just because I'm afraid that marrow donation would hurt (sorry!). To make up for it, I donate blood (I'm the only one in the family that can).
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I am a registered organ donor. Here in Aus you have to register to be able to donate, ticking the box on your license doesn't count. So my donor card hides behind my drivers license in my wallet just in case. I would be a live donor for my family, but I'd happily give up a bit of my liver for someone who needs it, as the liver grows back.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I think a lot about keeping my organs in top condition so that they will be good for donation. I'd really hate to not be able to help save someone dese's life once mine is done.
mek123 mek123 7 years
I'm a registered donor for any parts, just not my whole body (I had a human cadaver in college and we didn't treat them the best possible way). My husband (who is not Jewish) doesn't want to donate any organs. This was a very interesting discussion when we did our medical power of attorney. Probably the reason for Israel having such a low organ donor rate is that according to Jewish law, you need to be buried with all your body parts (including your foreskin if you are male).
wackdoodle wackdoodle 7 years
Yes I am a registered organ donor in CA. I got my next of kin to sign off on the removal of my organs as per my wishes w/o their ok. After watching a documentary on the band Rogue Wave and its drummer's need for a kidney to survive I've been wondering if despite my illness if I got be a live donor for a kidney or liver or even bone marrow. I've gotta find out how to get checked out for that possibility and where to register if I can donate now.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I'm absolutely an organ donor and I'm registered as a marrow donor as well. One of my mom's good friends had leukemia and was having trouble finding anyone who was a match in his family. My husband and I both got typed and put in the registry, but we weren't a match for him. I'd definitely consider donating a kidney to any one of my relatives or friends that needed one as well.
Louie Louie 7 years
I'm an organ donor and if a family member or close friend needed an organ in order to survive and I was a match, I wouldn't hesitate to be a live donor.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I am a donor and would absolutely be a live donor for immediate family
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
I hadn't registered before now but I'm doing so now.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Nikki that's awesome ! Glad to hear both are doing well.. the human body really is amazing :)
nikkisoda nikkisoda 7 years
I am an organ donor and I also just registered as a bone marrow donor. Which was really easy, just swab your cheeks and send in the mail. I am a huge supporter for donating organs, live or deceased. My Dad just had an incredibly successful liver transplant. My Aunt, my Father's sister, was the live donor. Both are doing wonderfully. It's amazing what the human body is capable of. They gave my Dad 65% of my Aunts liver. With in 10 days her liver will have gone from 35% to 75% and after 1 month will be back to it's normal size. Live organ donation is a serious thing that should not be taken lightly. But I would do it in a heartbeat. (I was too short to be the live donor for my Dad)
runningesq runningesq 7 years
swedishchica -- there is NO validity to that. Doctors take an oath to do no harm, and I cannot imagine a doctor saying "oh, she's an organ donor and we need that liver -- let's do a half ass job on her". I mean, REALLY ? Anyhow, yes, I'm a donor and I can't imagine why someone wouldn't choose to be one. Hell, when I die they can take my whole body -- if they can use my organs for other people, great, if they can use my body at a medical school for research/ teaching, that's great too.
swedishchica05 swedishchica05 7 years
I'm an organ donor and I used to wonder why anyone would NOT want to be one. I mentioned it to my dad once (I was about to have surgery, though not life-threatening I casually mentioned that I'm an organ donor) and he said that there is some debate that if you are hospitalized, say for a car accident, and the medical team finds out you're an organ donor, they don't try as hard to save your life because they want your organs. I'm not saying I believe this is true but I guess it's something to think about? I however have done some thinking about it and I would rather take the risk that if I go into cardiac arrest or something the medical team may not try as hard to save my life but might save many lives using my organs for donation. That's my two cents :)
kclulu kclulu 7 years
Yes I am absolutely a donor. I am going to be dead, what do I need my organs for anymore? If I can help prolong someones life I would be more than happy to do so. I would also consider live donating, definitely to family and friends but I would also consider donating to a stranger under the right circumstances and depending on the organ.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
lizzie, you are NOT a bad person because you choose to not be a donor. it is a matter of personal choice and you are completely entitled to it.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I think it would be awesome if a part of me could live on a save someone's life after I die. Like others, I'd only do a live donation to a family member or close friend.
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