One of the most exciting moments in anyone’s life is the day they get their driver’s license. But there is another big decision one must make on that day – whether or not to be an organ donor.
Although 95 percent of Americans are “in favor of being a donor, only 54 percent are registered” (Donate Life).
Many people do not check the “yes” box because of an array of reasons. The most popular ones continue to be fear of the hospital staff not working as hard to save their life if they are in an accident, that organ donation is against their religion and an open-casket funeral is not an option for them if they have donated (Mayo Clinic).
Mayo Clinic proves the inaccurateness of these claims in an article entitled, Organ Donation: Don’t let these myths confuse you.
The article stated, “When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life – not somebody else’s. You’ll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular condition.”
Because so many people are worried their lives will be valued less than those who need their organs, Mayo Clinic reassures us that the lives that matter the most are the ones they are currently attempting to save; they do not put others in front of the ones at hand.
The article goes on to add, “Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions. These religions include Roman Catholicism, Islam, most branches of Judaism and most Protestant faiths. If you’re unsure of uncomfortable with your faith’s position on donation, ask a member of your clergy.”
With the religious influence that carries into many aspects of the way we choose to lead our lives, this statement provides comfort that you still have a strong opportunity to be an organ donor, regardless of your religious affiliation.
The last claim the article explains is the fear of not having an open-casket funeral. It concludes with, “Organ and tissue donation doesn’t interfere with having an open-casket funeral. The donor’s body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation.
“For bone donation, a rod is inserted where bone is removed. With skin donation, a very thin layer of skin similar to sunburn peel is taken from the donor’s back. Because the donor is clothed and lying on their back in the casket, no one can see any difference.”
Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list, with 8,000 deaths occuring every year in America because organs are not donated in a timely manner (Donate Life). Many people realize that being an organ donor can save lives, but choose not to.
Checking yes can be scary, but 21 Americans dying each day waiting for a transplant must be prioritized over your fear of being buried with organs and tissue you will never need again (Donate Life).