April is Donate Life Month

I've talked about organ donation on this blog before, but this time it is personal.  I've always been an organ donor.  Whenever I've gone to the DMV, I indicate my intentions on my driver's license.  I've also told my family this fact because if I'm dead, I won't be around to say, "Hey, can you make sure that someone gets my eyes, my liver, my skin or maybe my heart?"

But, according to statistics, not a lot of people are organ donors, especially in Texas, and I'm wondering why?  Does it have to do with the whole, if I bury my head in the sand and not think about death, it won't happen to me mentality? Are people afraid to make that committment because of a superstitious fear that they're inviting the Grim Reaper into their lives by planning for their end of life wishes?  Or do people fear that they won't receive the best care in the emergency room if they're a donor?  I found the following information on the Texas Organ Sharing page to answer some of those fears.

  • Emergency room doctors are there to save lives and will do everything possible to save one’s life.
  • One’s celebrity or financial status does not play a part in the decision. Organs are allocated based on a variety of medical and logistical factors including blood type, size of organ needed, waiting time, distance between donor and recipient, degree of immune system match and medical urgency, among others.
  • All major religions, including Catholicism, support organ and tissue donation as one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity. Pope Benedict has stated that to give one’s organs means to give expression to a true, deep act of love for one’s neighbor.
  • Donation does not interfere with funeral arrangements. A donor can have an open casket funeral.
  • Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history. The good news is that a single donor can save or improve the lives of more than 50 people.
I know death is a super personal issue, but I'm writing about it because I think it's time we all started thinking and talking about it.  Death and taxes, people.  Which of these inevitable aspects of life would you rather discuss? 

So, here's the dealio.  I'd like for you to be brave and discuss right here on my blog your thoughts about organ donation.  If you don't feel comfortable, simply vote in my poll.  But, I'm hoping we can get a discussion going.  This issue might not be of importance to you right now so you're not thinking about it. But it might be when you least expect it.

I know when we think of charity, we think of dropping a buck or two into the Salvation Army bucket during the holidays or sending a check to our favorite cause, but organ donation is free.  We're all going to die at some point, so why not give the ultimate gift of life?