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Organ donation is a process when one organ is surgically removed from one person into another. Organ transplants can be needed for many reasons such as the recipient’s organ has failed or been damaged due to an illness or an injury. In the news today we hear about a system known as the “opt out”. This means every living person will become a donor unless it is explicitly recorded that they have opted out for some valid reason. Studies have attempted to show that the new opt-out system is “unlikely” to increase the saving of lives as well as the number of donations. Will this new opt-out system become the new law or will people still have a say in what happens to their body?
Organ donation would be more likely to rise if people were to understand the critical shortage of organs. Members of the public, across the world, need to make an effort to become more aware of the benefits of the process. For example, advances have been made by medical doctors in order to make it possible to save a life. The guardian claims that in 2016 the NHS lost 457 people due to “shortage of organs”. Methods of organ storage have also improved dramatically since then, yet we still have shortages of organs. As a result of this there is a major increase of people who get added to the list as well as more and more people who die off the list.
We need to consider why this is the case. Many people don’t become donors as they think of it as “dying not whole”, which is true. Religious aspects play a massive role in why people don’t become donors and some may worry about who will actually receive the organs.
Advancingyourhealth.org claim that “the donor does not usually get to choose who the organs go to, and perhaps an organ will go to someone of a different faith, political viewpoint or temperament than the donor”. Another fear is that people feel as though doctors will terminate life support if they’re aware that they are a donor. Many non-donors don’t trust the medical community when it comes to organ donation as they wish to have their own say in what happens to their body. Donating organs can seem daunting. Some families of donors can become upset by the fact that bodies are kept in life support as they go through the procedure. Specialists in transplants only take tissues from the body of the person who is brain dead but also occasionally the body is sustained in what is known as a ventilator to keep the heart beating while doing the surgery. Donation is made out to be this amazing thing but people just worry that it might be possible for them to feel the pain of organs being ripped out and detached from their body. But can this be completely true?
Organ donors feel that if they save a life it will remove grief away from themselves. Compared to people who are not on the donor list, donors seem to be motivated and highly educated. Individuals who become donors are the ones who are willing to help save a life. Nursingtimes.net claims that “a lack of knowledge is largely to blame for the lack of donors.” Members of the public urgently need to educate others on selfless acts. In reality, many people just think that if there dead, there dead. Who cares what happens to their body. Once they die, doctors can do whatever they wish with the body, they see it as if they no longer need the parts. But should this really be the way to encourage more people to agree to donation?
Currently, one hundred and fifteen thousand females and males of many generations lie in wait for organ transplants in order to keep their lives going. People wish for this second chance at life; they feel as though this will save them from having any treatments to survive but it also costs a fortune. This allows them to feel normal, as if they are able to live a standard lifestyle. Advancingyourhealth.org claim that “for the family of the deceased donor, they feel a sense of goodness that came from a tragedy – that if the organs are transplanted into a young, deserving person, then their loss was not in vain.” This tells us how donor families don’t necessarily grieve as much for their loved ones as they know that some part of them lives within another. The opt out system will help our society as well as the world to save people from unnecessary suffering. Doctors around the world are urging potential donors to give permission for organ and tissue donation and encourage as many people as possible to save as many lives as they can. They also encourage donations from living people as well as people who have passed away due to the excellent outcomes and the patients don’t have as long of a waiting time to receive an organ.
The new opt out system has many benefits as well as negatives but is it really going to be as successful as they say it is. Although the majority of our population say that donation is a wonderful gift, doctors would have to depend on the fact that people are informed and know everything they possibly need to about the process to make a decision either way. The reality of this new system is really just a form of stealing as no true confirmation is given. Blogs.bmj.com claims the opt out system was rejected in Brazil when “only a year after it began which demonstrates the problems such a system would face, especially when families were not allowed to overrule decisions”. Problems will most likely occur if donors don’t 100% agree with their flesh and blood about their consent as this could cause trust issues between their doctors and families. The opt out system is a great idea as it could save many lives but will need a lot of focused thinking if it is to truly revolutionise our approach to the subject.
In conclusion, the opt out system is a great idea but has its many flaws. In my opinion I feel as though people should have a say in there right to their own body, we shouldn’t have to state before we die that we do not want to be sliced open and parts taken from us. I am in favour of organ donation but only if the person wishes for parts of them to be donated in order to save another life. I think that it will be interesting to see how this new system plans out as although they say it’s going to save more lives, we will be able to see with our own eyes how successful the new law will really be. Donors should be able to believe that everyone’s life is blessed and that all recipients will be honoured to have that second chance at life and, perhaps in turn, pass that onto someone else. However, the new law for the opt out system has been shown by studies that it is not likely to increase the number of donors. This is due to the fact people wish for a say in the right to their own body.
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