Thursday, October 1, 2009

Organ Donation: Not Just for Steve Jobs

Organ Donation: Not Just for Steve Jobs
By Ahmed Al-Salem

Money is always the first thing that a person is sought after when he dies. Where will it go and to whom? That’s not the only thing that people care about nowadays. A debate about harvesting the organs of the deceased is a big concern to many people. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, recently got a liver transplant that saved his life. “I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. I wouldn't be here without such generosity," an emotional Jobs told the audience at an unveiling of new and cheaper iPods at a showing in San Francisco. He urged everyone to become an Organ Donor. Only 38% of the nation is registed as organ donors. That means more than half of the people that can register don’t. Eighteen people die each day waiting for an organ transplant and such deaths can be saved if people were to donate their organs.

Some of the reasons that people are reluctant to donate are: concerns about bodily integrity, worries that signing a donor card may 'jinx' them, mistrust of doctors and fear that they won't get proper care if they are registered organ donors and religion. The only valid excuse in my opinion is the last, which is religion. We will all die one day and if your organs are going to rot into dust than you might as well give it to someone who can make use of it. I am personally an organ donor and I have specified that my organs be harvested only to save lives. I think it’s a good idea and that people should do this before they die.

Source #1


  1. Over half of the 103,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

  2. Dave is correct on one account only: there IS a shortage of donated organs in the US. But Lifesharers is NOT the answer. The answer is education about donation and encouraging people to make their own personal decision to be a donor. Lifesharers creates a class of members for special consideration in the organ donor process. By creating this special class, Lifesharers undermines the existing framework for organ allocation, which is predicated on clinically relevant consideration, not personal characteristics.

    The existing framework is based on the opinions of medical professionals, which Lifesharers works to override in their decision-making processes. In its current format, Lifesharers is a closed system. Lifesharers "members" who need transplants can accept a donation from anyone, but those who are donors would preferentially restrict their donation to other "members".

    Under the current system, no other patients in the US who seek medical treatment are required to give back anything beyond money for the costs of treatment. The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors has declined to endorse the operating principles of Lifesharers, as these principles undermine the existing framework for organ allocation in the United States based on ethical and legal issues surrounding Lifesharers and their "allocation" process.

    As of right now there are less than 12,000 people on the Lifesharers list and an organ has never been placed within the Lifesharers list.

    Laws that oversee donation vary from state to state. It is important for you to know how to ensure your decision to be a donor is carried out. Find out how by visiting

  3. Your blog keep getting better and better