Why you should sign up to be an organ donor

Two difference pieces of good news still come down to bad news for anyone waiting for an organ donor. More people are aware of, and signing up for, organ donation than ever before. At the same time, fewer people are dying in car crashes (formerly the primary source of usable organs from donors). Good news – unless you’re ill or injured and need a transplant.

Some sign up to donate organs out of a sense of altruism – they want to help others and know it’s an incredible way to give back and leave a meaningful legacy. Others do it out of a sense of karma or civic duty – they know it’s needed and would hope that if they ever needed a donation themselves, there’d be one available.

There are also those that are uncomfortable with or reject the idea of becoming donors. Some are just plain disgusted at the thought of it or see it as a lack of control over their destiny. In some cases, its just laziness; an organ donation program must be opted into, and that means (a small amount of) paperwork. For others, myths and misconceptions about what happens in an organ donation are a barrier, such as a fear that doctors won’t be as motivated to save your life.

If you or a loved one has ever faced a critical illness or an acute injury and have experienced organ failure, you will know just how powerful and meaningful the organ donation program is. Here are five reasons you should sign up to be an organ donor:

It saves lives

Still waiting for that radioactive spider bite? You can be a hero without superpowers (or even training) by joining the organ donation list. Organ donations save the lives of sick children, accident victims, and those with acute or degenerative illnesses. We all die at some point. Make your final contribution to the world a gift of life.

It’s really simple

Register online with your state or the national registry or opt-in when you apply for your driver’s license. There are no fees. It’s a simple form to fill out, and once you have an online profile, you can specify limitations for your donations or end your registration at any time.

Anyone can sign up – any age, sex, or race – but children will require parental consent. There are no health checks at the time of registration; instead, a donor is only assessed at the time of donation. And in the case of a donation, all medical services provided in support of that donation are covered – they won’t cost your family or estate anything.

If you want to become a live donor, where you donate a portion of your organs (usually liver or kidneys) to save a life, you’ll need to know your blood type so that you can be matched to a potential recipient. You can set up a blood type test for donors with your doctor or schedule one online.

It’s not even that likely to happen

Unless you decide to offer a living donation (donate something you can live without like a lobe of your liver or a kidney), chances are you may never actually be called on for organ donation. There are very precise requirements for organ donors at the time of death, which is why we need so many people to register.

It undercuts the black market

Unscrupulous dealers on the black market make money finding (or creating) unwilling donors because the demand for organ donations is high, and the number of viable donors is few. By joining your state or the national organ registry, you’re contributing to safe, ethical organ donation and helping combat black market trade.

It leaves a legacy

Organ donation is one of the best ways to leave your mark on the world after you’ve gone on. It shows kindness and commitment to life. Some part of you lives on, contributing to more life. Organ donation is a beautiful gift and legacy to leave.

Joining the organ registry now demonstrates that you care about others and are contributing to a kinder, more just society, whether or not you ever actually act as an organ donor. Share your commitment to join the registry to help grow social acceptance and one day ensure there is a donor for every need and a hero to save every life. And consider opting into a living organ donation to step forward and claim hero status today. You can save a life without training, without waiting for superpowers, just with commitment and a giving heart. Your blood type can be matched to a patient in need of rescuing and you can change the world for one person in need.

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