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Pros And Cons of Organ Donation

Last updated: June 1, 2021
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Pros And Cons of Organ Donation

Life is unpredictable. One cannot be certain as to what tomorrow holds for him or herself, his closest ones, or any living soul out there. In an effort to address issues like serious disease and organ failure, technologically advanced contemporary medicine has made the notion of organ donation real and quite tangible. It is here, and it is here to stay. Pros and cons of organ donation, at its very core, this idea is good-hearted and derives from the desire to help the thousands of people who are currently in desperate need of an organ. 

While the majority of organs are donated from deceased or fatally ill donors, there is also a smaller number of organs that are donated by healthy people. In fact, the numbers show that more than 6,000 organs are transplanted from healthy individuals.

While being a live donor is certainly a tough decision, signing a donor card (consenting to organ donation upon deceasement) is a notion that many people take into serious consideration. Although contested by some, organ donation at its core, embodies true humanitarianism and compassion for other human beings. Modern medicine helps people in ways never before seen. But this revolutionary idea starts from the decision to become an organ donor.

What is an Organ Donor?

An organ donor is a person who consents to allow their tissues or organs to be used for medical treatment such as organ transplant. Most often, the practice is that a recently deceased person will be taken organs from. However, on rare occasions, and (of course) with the donor’s consent, there are situations where some tissues or a kidney are taken from a living donor.

An organ donor is someone who agrees to allow their organs or tissues to be used in medical science or medical treatment of others after the donor passes away.

In this article, we largely consider the notion of becoming an organ donor upon deceasement.

Pros and Cons of Organ Donation

Many people consider the idea of becoming organ donors. A considerable number have already done it. However, for some, this still remains a controversial topic. The reasons why this is controversial for some people derive from different reasons – religious beliefs, distrust in modern society’s values, and others. 

In this article, we look at the most notable arguments for and against the idea of organ donation.

If the idea of organ donation has crossed your mind, consider the following pros and cons, to help you make the right decision.

Pros

  • Organ Donation Saves Lives

Let’s be honest. There are people out there who suffer. At the same time, there are other people who can help them. One of the oldest binding documents in human history is the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon receiving their degree. By taking this oath, doctors commit to using their knowledge for the good of mankind, and with humanistic motifs only. 

Humanitarianism and solidarity take on new perspectives with the advancement of technology. After all, we live in times when organs and tissues from our deceased body can actually serve another person in dire need. Therefore, many people are motivated to become organ donors just by the idea of saving other people’s lives.

  • Organ Donation can be Symbolic Consolation for the Family of a Deceased Person

Families of a deceased loved one take this loss immensely hard. It’s only natural. However, many families find symbolic consolation in the notion of organ donation. This is because through the act of organ donation – their loss at the very least gives somebody else a second chance in life. 

  • The Number Of Organ Transplants is Rising

The number of total organ transplants is rising, but what gives even more hope and promise for the future is the fact that there is also an increase in successful transplants in recent times. This rise is equally owed to organ donors as is to technological and medical advancements. This positive trend looks primed for a continuous rise.

  • Anyone Can Become a Donor

There are no restrictions when it comes to becoming an organ donor, the exception being that underaged children do require the consent of a parent or guardian before agreeing to be organ donors.

With that being said, we should emphasize that while becoming a live donor is certainly a tough call, agreeing to be a donor upon deceasement, on the other hand, is definitely an idea worth considering. 

Cons

  • Organ Transplant Surgery is Very Expensive

If we take the US as an example, the cost of an organ transplant is a 5 to 6 digit number. In fact, the cost may exceed $1 million considering the additional costs of medical care following the surgery. This is an enormous sum that many cannot afford. However, if there is a rise in the overall amount of organ donors, the price is likely to go down.

  • Organ Donation may cause Health Problems To Donor And To Recipient

As we previously mentioned, making the decision to become a living organ donor is a tough one.  A living donor is most likely to donate a kidney, a tissue, or parts of their lungs, liver or intestines. 

There are two obvious reasons why this is a difficult decision for anyone. The first one refers to the organ donor. The risk is that upon donating an organ, you carry on your life without it, and that alters the conditions in your body. 

The second reason refers to the recipient. Studies show that 1 out of 10 recipients can have complications upon receiving an organ. There is always the risk of infection, organ rejection, or even death. 

Another problem that derives from organ transplantation is that the recipient receives medicine to prevent the organism’s immune system from rejecting the new organ. This medicine has its considerable risks involved, such as the risk of developing diabetes. 

  • A Donated Organ May Be Rejected

Organ transplantation is a complex procedure. There are no guarantees that the recipient’s body will accept the organ. As we mentioned above, the recipient might be required to take these immunosuppressive medications throughout their entire lives, in order for the organ transplant to be successful.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about becoming an organ donor, that means that you have a very noble desire at heart. It is the desire to help others in need.

Take into consideration all the pros and cons of organ donation, and make a decision for yourself whether you want to become an organ donor. The number of people signing to become organ donors upon their death is on the rise. This shows that there are still traces of solidarity and kindness among humanity. 

By becoming an organ donor, you give the ultimate gift to society – and that is the gift of hope. While becoming a live donor is a truly staggering notion, and one that is always done out of sore necessity, becoming a donor upon death is certainly an idea worth considering. 

The technological advancements of today give us a chance to do things that would have been considered nothing short of miracles some 100 years ago. And we have every reason to believe that a 100 years from now, even organ donation may become unnecessary or obsolete.

Today, however, one thing is certain – we can become organ donors. Let’s try to stay proactive and let’s help when we can.