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Organ donation is a pure act of kindness. However, it is often debated about whether it should be mandatory or not. Donating your organ is a social cause which is all together a decision of the person who is willing to donate his or her organ. Saving lives is the noblest thing a person can do, and an organ donor can save the lives of eight people so it is a cause without harm and help for others. It is a privilege to be able to help out the person who is in need of organs even after you are dead.
Every year thousands of people receive a gift of life, lifesaving transplant of heart, kidney, liver, lungs or intestines and many other people receive corneas and tissues. Transplantation is one of the great medical advancement of our times. It all starts when someone’s organs begin to fail and that person is in a need of transplant to survive. A thorough evaluation is conducted at a transplantation center and if the person is a healthy candidate for a transplant he or she will be put on the national transplant waiting list, once a person is on the list the wait for an organ begins. A national system matches people on the waiting list with donors and the factors considered in matching donors and recipients including blood type, size of the body, how sick they are, and distance from donors. Because the waiting list is very long and there are not enough organ donors. Eighteen people die each day when in need of organ and not finding it at the right time.
A donor can turn the time of loss into time of hope. One person can give life to as many as 8 people through organ donation. A person willing to save a person’s life through organ donation will have a privilege to say that “I saved someone’s life.” The donor can donate their organs for free because the procurement agency takes care of all the expenses.
The motive behind the selection of this specific topic is the drama series “BREATHE” which conveyed the meaningful message from which I got inspired to select this particular topic. The series showed how one organ donor can save many lives not only the patient but the patient’s family members as well. Moreover, this series has a negative point which was the father’s character, who in order to save his son’s life, went beyond the limits to steal the organ in an inappropriate manner. However, Jordan baker (2012) says that it was found that the generations who are most likely in need of organs are the least likely to be registered organ donors. Certainly there are some people who would not qualify as donors because of health problems, but for the rest of us, it is a duty to donate for people in need. Organ donation however should not be mandatory, but we could do something to encourage a culture of people who want to donate.
Many people wait for years for compatible organs to become available. The need for organ donors is growing. Donate and save a life, how would you feel if your cardiologist told you that you have six months to live unless a compatible heart became available soon. This is what thousands of people are told everyday and then put on a transplant list out of which most of the people wait for months and even years before a match becomes available. Can you imagine what it feels like to get a death sentence like this and to see the light at the end of a tunnel and to know that a millions of people are capable of saving life and nobody is stepping up? Many of these people could have a happy ending but the grim reality is that many don’t and many won’t. On the other hand, families of such people plead for organs because of compelled situation in order to save their beloved one’s life.
Furthermore, people do not likely to donate organs because they think it is against their religious point of view. However, according to Islam: There is no clear verse that states that organ donation is permitted in Islam but according to a conference it is revealed that if you want to donate organs to the needy people then three conditions must be satisfied; the organ should be a gift to a person only for the purpose to save his/her life, the person who is donating the organ should not do it for economical reason, after a person donates organ it should not cause a loss of his life, for example, as it is scientifically proven that human body has 2 kidneys and on one kidney a person can lead normal life so he can donate the other kidney to the person who is in need. In Quran it is clearly stated that saving one’s life is equal to saving an entire humanity. Moreover, Zubeida Mustafa (2016) says that a humanitarian character and a role model of millions of people, Abdul Sattar Edhi who recently passed away, donated his corneas after death and inspired many people to donate their organs. Transplantation society of Pakistan tells us that after the Edhis’s eye donation public learnt that organ donation is indeed a good deed and in this year 504 more people came forward to donate their organs.
Haripriya Suresh, an Indian boy, in January 2018 had a cystic fibroses which causes the weakness of lungs due to which he needed an organ transplant within one month. So he was registered on the recipient list on the fourth number which obviously took long time to get on number one. The boy was with a rare blood group which is AB- negative which is why he had to suffer because of unavailability of organ donors especially with this particular blood group, despite of waiting for so long he could not get the right donor on the right time therefore he lost his life due to the organ shortage.
On May 2016, Sharad and Patel, had an unfortunate accident. One of them got brutally injured and was declared brain dead by doctors. On the other hand, in different city, a little girl was suffering from congenital heart disease and needed urgent heart transplant. The parents of that girl were hopelessly searching for heart donor and they came to know that there is a boy with brain dead condition so they start pleading to his parents to donate his heart to their daughter but they immediately refused as they did not consider their son to be dead. When the doctor suggested them to donate the boy’s heart, as he would not be able to survive anymore, they considered the emotional appeal of the girl’s parents and agreed to donate his heart.
Rachael Rettner (September 2018). An extraordinary case which occurred in Europe and in this case cancer spread from organ donor to four people. It all begins with a 53 year old organ donor woman who died from a stroke but after 16 months, a woman who received lung transplant became ill and found out that she had breast cancer. Analysts revealed that these cells had come from lungs which were donated by 53 year old lady. And in 2011, the liver transplant patient came to know that she had breast cancer cells in liver, the patient was scared to face another transplant and eventually that patient died in 2012.After six years of transplantation, patient who received a left kidney was diagnosed with breast cancer died because the cancer had spread in many other organs. And another 32 year old man died after 10 years of transplantation surgery.
Gabrielle Johnston, Ike Golfing, a 52 year old man who had recently suffered for a heart attack and a bypass surgery underwent another heart attack which made a heavy toll on his body. He started getting sicker day by day to the extent that his heart became too weak to pump blood. That is when the doctor told him about the transplant and then the wait began. He and his wife, Linda moved near Arizona Medical Center to be closer if the heart arrived. But the days turned to weeks and then to months when he started losing hope. Linda encouraged him to look over the better things in life and he tried but the feeling of knowing that his heart could stop at any moment was much more frightening as it sounds and the pager which he had to wear and which never made him forget about his condition and how any day he could get a beep informing him about his new heart. One day when he was laying on his bed the pager started to beep like never before. He got scared like never before. Just like that, within 24 hours, he went from a 57 year old man with the weakest heart to a perfectly healthy one. As he lay on his bed he realized a smile on his face because now he had his life ahead of him without the fear of dying at any second.
From one article, Alexa Kersting, a girl who at the age of 7 she was diagnosed with a lung disease to which she needed a transplant and at the age of 12 developed pulmonary hypertension because of the long waiting of her organ to be transplanted. She was a brave and courageous little girl who would think about all the things she will do after her transplant. Unfortunately the waiting never ended, and by the age of 14, she died. She was a talented young girl, as her father says who the family loved with all their heart and how ever since she passed away, there has been an empty hole. The mother says “When you’re a parent, you expect to be a parent for a long time, and it’s hard to figure out a life without her.”
Ernest, a 60 year old organ donor saved the lives of five people when he passed away. His wife says that he was a person who loved life and how everyone should enjoy this journey. Ernest was committed to donate his organs and he used to say as he will pass away, the family should put all of his assets to good use. When he unexpectedly died at the age of 61, his family did exactly what he desired, even though it was a difficult process but they are all proud of him for making that decision and saving lives there on.
In my opinion, as much as I value organ donation, I don’t think making it mandatory is fair. It is just as same as when somebody dies we cannot loot their houses or their properties in the same way we cannot loot their organs from their bodies until and unless they want to donate it. It is not our duty to donate organs for the sake of money or other beneficial purpose it is not even right in religious perspective but when somebody needs an organ and it is no longer in use for the person who wants to donate then it will be a responsibility to help the person who is in need. Donating organs is a choice and should not be mandatory. The only thing that should be mandatory is for the family to have to donate the organs of someone who chose to be organ donor before dying.
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