Should Organ Donation After Death be Encouraged?

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One of the best acts that human beings can do before they die is to donate their organs to fellow human beings who are about to die. This also happens to be the only thing, noble or otherwise, by which we can influence a life after we die.

Most countries and religions encourage organ donation to save human life. A recent study has revealed the fact that one organ donor can positively affect the lives of nearly 50 people.

The organs that can be donated are heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, pancreas and bone marrow. Our eyes can make a person see the world and certain organs can make a person breathe. Kidney donation has the highest success rate among organs because of the fact that a person can survive with only one kidney. Body organ donation not only helps the recipient, but it also helps the family members of the patient who would have otherwise lost their near or dear one.

While there are plenty of good reasons to donate organs, one of the most compelling ones is self-satisfaction. The fact that you are involved in such a noble act makes you feel good inside. As they say, “Everything that goes around comes around”. Knowing that you have positively affected several lives, you might be bestowed with good things in life in the near future for your great act. The fact that you will be able to do something good towards mankind is a hugely gratifying feeling in itself.

Choosing to donate body organ is a voluntary step. There is no force or age restriction for organ donation. Children can also donate body organs as long as the body organs are healthy, although individuals below the age of 18 require parental approval.

There are some objections to organ donation as well. In the medical category, one reason is that the donor may be suffering from an infectious disease or organ failure. There is also a medical debate of what constitutes death – brain death or cardiac death. Moreover, donors undergoing treatment for a disease may fear that medical effort will not be made to keep them alive if they wished to donate.

Another, more common area of objection is a religious belief. Some people may feel a religious obligation to keep the body whole or belief in the impurity of dead things. An offshoot of this belief is the belief that one has the right to determine the fate of one’s body after death.

From an emotional point of view, many people do not want to see a family member’s body cut up for organs after their death. Lastly, the fear of having their organ exploited for a commercial interest also serves to turn away people from organ donation.

Despite these reasons, body organ donation is one amongst the very few acts in the world for which a person is remembered even after his/her death.