Organ Donation

Better Essays
Logan Pulido
Mr. Boberg
AP Lang- G
9 April 2008
Are You Opt-in or Opt-out? Great advances in the science of organ transplantation have made it possible for many lives to be saved from conditions that would have otherwise been considered fatal. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 and in good general health can be organ donors. Thanks to these scientific advances, living donors are now able to donate entire kidneys and portions of other regenerative organs such as the intestine, liver, lung, and pancreas. Full portions of these organs as well as others, such as bones, corneas, hearts, and tendons can be harvested from donors shortly after the declaration of death. Unfortunately, too few donors exist to meet the demand for these
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Overall a notable gap exists between the proportion of people in a society who favor organ donation and the much smaller faction who act upon their convictions. The potential benefits of organ donation significantly outweigh proposed reasons for refusing to donate one’s organs. Though the reasons for rejecting organ donation are understandable, the overall effect on the biomass confirms such reasons to be selfish and unethical. Organs for transplantation must be harvested as soon after death as possible, in order to maintain viability. Relatives of the donor often find difficulty in accepting that their loved one’s body, “maintained in a semblance of life by artificial respiration, is in fact dead and will remain dead when the respirator is turned off” (Emson). One’s determination to donate organs is completely voluntary. Practically, that measured decision can be overturned by family members after the death of the individual, resulting in the primary cause of loss of donors (Thomas). “To the bereaved family, an organ is a remaining part of the beloved deceased person. […] To the deceased, it is something that has been a vital component of the person but is no longer needed. [But] To the potential recipient of its donated organs, it is the very new hope for a restored life” (Emson). However, with each selfish refusal of organ donation, fifty Americans are denied the chance
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