Organ Donation Pros and Cons List
Organ donation can be a very tricky topic to broach. There are over 100,000 citizens currently sitting on donor lists, hoping to find help so that they can receive a second chance to live a healthy, normal life. However, many people are quite reluctant to donate their organs, for a variety of different reasons. Some of this reluctance comes from a lack of education, as many people are not fully aware of the intricacies of organ donation. By further examining the pros and cons of organ donation, a person can make a more informed choice. The following is list of the advantages and disadvantages associated with organ donation.
Pros of Organ Donation
1. Saving Lives
What many organ donors are unaware of is that one simple donation from them has the power to save multiple lives. Giving several people their long awaited second chance at life provides the donor with a great feeling. The majority of those who seek organ donation are forced to rely on regularly administered treatments from a physician in order to live a semblance of a normal life.
These treatments are costly and can force their families into tough financial predicaments. By allowing your organs to be used to help others, not only are you saving the life of the person in need, but you significantly reduce the burden that has been placed on their loved ones. The recipient is able to resume the lifestyle that they envisioned for themselves, while their families gain valuable peace of mind, knowing that their loved one will not suffer anymore.
2. You Can Donate While You’re Still Alive
A commonly held belief by those who are against organ donation is that their body will be “harvested” once they pass on. The idea of being cut open after death and having vital organs removed tends to make some people squeamish, even if they will not actually be present for the removal of the organs.
What these people do not know is that they can help those in need while they are still among the living. The human body contains several organs that a person can donate a piece of or survive without, while allowing someone in need to greatly enhance their quality of life.
Most living organ donation happens when family members step up to the plate to help their loved ones, but a person who wishes to help a stranger still has the option of volunteering. Registering for organ donation is a great form of humanitarianism and can provide help to a stranger who is left with no place to turn to.
3. Consolation For Families Of The Deceased
There is very little good that comes out of a person dying at a young age. Families can feel an immense sense of grief as they mourn the less of someone who has gone too soon. For families who are forced to deal with the sudden passing of someone who has in the prime of their life, organ donation can help them to move on.
Even people who live a full, healthy life can provide some sense of consolation to family members by donating their organs. With so many young people stricken with illness, in desperate need of help, receiving an organ donation helps them to live a better life and ensures that their death did not occur in vain.
Having the knowledge that a small piece of the person they love will continue to live on and help others provides a great sense of comfort to family members who are in grief.
4. Allows Medical Students To Practice
If someone does not enjoy the idea of their body being sliced open after death for the benefit of a person that they do not even know, they may feel better about the concept of donating their body to science. Medical students need cadavers to work on, in order to develop into capable doctors.
By donating your body after death, you ensure that medical students will have the proper opportunity to perform procedures in a low risk environment. Your donation ensures that medical students are able to receive all of the experience that they need during their training period.
Contributing to the medical community’s acumen is the gift that keeps on giving. People receive access to more highly skilled doctors when you are willing to donate your body to the greater good.
Cons of Organ Donation
1. Do Not Get To Choose
When a person donates their organs, they have very little say over where they will eventually end up. For those who are particularly religious, the idea that their internal organs may be used to help someone of a different faith may too much for them to bear. The recipient could also have a vastly different view on politics than the donor.
In order to confidently donate organs, the person has to be someone who believes that all human life is equally important. Unless the person has a great sense of gratitude and is truly appreciate of the gift of life, they may not feel comfortable with the idea of giving their organs to just anyone.
Paying it forward is the primary motivation for organ donation and while this is a great concept to live by, there is a large group of people who do not believe in the idea.
2. Family Confusion
If a person has agreed to donate their organs, then their body is usually kept on life support, even if there is no chance of true resuscitation. The body remains hooked up to a ventilator, so that the organs are in prime condition when they are removed. This also decreases the chance that the new organs could attack the body of the host.
Many families do not enjoy this prospect and the concept of seeing their loved one’s organs removed before they have actually passed may be too much to bear. Being connected to a ventilator is obviously not the same as truly being alive, but for families who have watched the person they love fight off death, the harvesting of organs before the body has gone cold can seem ghoulish or unnecessary.
3. Lesser Treatment From Doctors
Like many of the downsides to organ donation, this is based on complete and total misinterpretation of the rules in place. Some people are against the idea of donating their organs because they have the belief that it will affect the quality of medical treatment they receive from a doctor.
They think that if a doctor knows they are willing to donate their organs, this will cause the doctor to adjust the way they treat them and provide care. A doctor is a professional and there is no way for them to objectively rank the importance of one person’s life versus another.
The surgeon who removes your organs is going to be a different person that the doctor who is assigned to save your life. A doctor is never going to make the decision to let you perish so that they can use your organs and donate them to someone they like better. This is unethical and there is no proof that something like this has ever taken place.
4. Transplants Can Be Dangerous
Certain people are more than happy to give the gift of life to a fortunate recipient. Unfortunately, organ transplants are not always foolproof. Complications do arise from time to time and a donor who wished to give a person the ever important gift of life may end up giving them the exact opposite.
Recipients are not always fully aware of the dangers associated with transplants. Placing foreign organs into a person’s body can cause infection and in certain cases, even death. Organs that are placed up for donation may not be tested rigorously enough in some instances.
Even organs that are deemed suitable for transplanting are not always safe. It is impossible to predict how a body will react to new organs and whether the recipient’s immune system will perceive them as a potential threat. Diseases cane be transmitted through organ transplants, although the medical community is working tirelessly to eliminate these sorts of complications.