Organs            Visualizebeing on a death bed, just waiting for what seems like forever.

The opportunityfor survival is not given until the phone rings. The phone is the only sourcewhere a sense of hope can be delivered. Such a hope, being that an organ matchhas been found for a patient. But what happens if the phone never rings? Orwhat if it takes too long for the phone to ring and the patient dies? With therapid increase of organ demand, patients are having great difficulty finding amatch with such a scarce amount of organs available. Nine out of 10 Americanssupport organ donation, but only 38% are actual organ donors (U.S. Departmentof Health and Human Services).

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The reason why the percentage is so low isbecause citizens are under the misconception that by checking the organ donorbox on the driver’s license application will make them an organ donor. Inaddition to that however, drivers will either have to go online to register orfill out a registry application. In order to increase the number of registereddonors, the government must automatically register licensed drivers as an organdonor to decrease the limited supply of organs. Organ donationis the voluntary act of giving an organ to another after or before death.According to the Health Department of Human Services, organ transplants have asuccess rate of 82%. Additional sources such as the Mayo Clinic also state thatone organ donor is able to save up to 8 lives.

According to the U.S. Departmentof Health and Human services, there are approximately 116,653 people waitingfor an organ, while 18 people will die each day while waiting for an organ.People of all ages regardless of race or gender are able to donate organs afterdeath. Patients that die from various diseases may still be eligible to donate theirorgans; depending on the functionality and condition of the patient, the organsmay still be unaffected from a disease that a patient has been diagnosed with. In order to bean organ donor, citizens must not only sign up at the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)but also register either online or fill out an application. Having a sticker ona driver’s license will not suffice to be an organ donor.

> If citizens are not registered as an organ donor,then family members will have the opportunity to override the deceased’s withof donating their organs after death. The newlyformed process of organ donation will solely revolve around the contract thatall licensed drivers will be required to sign. There will be two linesavailable: one line is the consent to donation of organs, while the other lineis the non-consent line to donating organs.

The contract is legally binding, sono family member(s) will be able to override the deceased’s wishes.  However, when it comes to students obtaininga driver’s license, there are some procedures that would be different. Suchprocedures include the student’s legal guardian approving the organ donationcontract. However, if the student were to change their minds once they turn 18,the process is still reversible. While manyAmericans do support organ donation, the small percentage of people that don’tsupport it are often times not fully educated on organ donations. One of themost misconceptions about organ donation is doctors who are aware of theirpatient being an organ donor will not work as hard to save the individual’slife.

According to Mayo Clinic, the top medical facility in the United Statesexplains,”. Therefore, doctors who are in charge of organtransplantation and the actual doctor who is assigned the patient’s diagnosisare two different doctors. In addition to that, many fear that during the organtransplant, the patient may not actually be dead yet. However, many medicalresearch facilities all perform the same procedures. Thatprocedure being that if a patient was to be a registered organ donor,additional tests would be performed in order to further confirm the death ofthe patient; no additional costs would be applied to the family from the extratesting. Another common misconception with organ donations is by being an organdonor; an open casket will not be permitted at the viewing. By being an organdonor, there is absolutely no stipulation that does not enable an open casket.

Doctors are specialized in organ transplant procedures, so the incisions thatare performed will be carefully stitched back, which would not make an opencasket option impossible. Another false belief that many people have is theyare too old to donate their organs, so why bother becoming an organ donor? Allorgans tend to vary in age, depending on the lifestyle and dietary habits ofeach person, there have been successful transplants ranging from seventy toeighty year old patients. Therefore, only doctors can determine the eligibilityof an organ for transplant, so it is not necessary to completely rule out beingan organ donor because of an age stipulation.

Patients are also under theconclusion that by donating organs after death, the family will be charged anadditional bill for the transplant. According to the Mayo Clinic, there willabsolutely be no charge to the deceased’s family for any organ transplant ofany kind. The only costs that the family will have to pay for everything thatwent into attempting to save the donor’s life.Data wascollected in 2011, and it came out to be that the minority group had the lowestpercentage of organ donors. Approximately 33% of American organ donors are ofAfrican, Asian, and Hispanic descent (News 8 WTNH). While religion may play alarge factor in organ donation, another common role is the distrust withdoctors.

From the early 1900’s to the late 1980’s African Americans were beingtreated for syphilis. However, doctors used the African American patients formedical research about the disease. Following that incident, the majority ofcitizens, particularly African Americans, struggled with trusting doctorsagain. Because of that unfortunate history within the African Americancommunity, the number of minority donors has suffered significantly (JillEllefson University of Wisconsin Hospitals). Of the 116,653people waiting for an organ, approximately 23,824 are African Americans, 13,441are Hispanics, and 5,466 are Asians. With all minority groups combined, thatmakes up about 50% of the people on transplant waiting list (MOTTEP).

Whileorgan matches can be found between different ethnicities, it is more common tofind a match with same races due to the similarities in blood and tissue types.165 people hadparticipated in a survey where their knowledge of organ donation wasresearched. The results for the number of people registering for organdonations were only 3% of Hispanics, 0% of African Americans, and 12% wereCaucasian. Proposing thatall licensed drivers are to be automatically registered as an organ donor maymake others believe that the government may be intervening too much with theirlives. However, the government is in no way intervening or abolishing thecitizens’ choice, but the government is simply making it easier for the citizens.

If citizens were to choose to opt out of being registered as an organ donor,then they will easily have that option. In addition to that, not only is there a high demand for organs, butfinding a match is also very difficult, especially when there is a verylimiting amount of organs available right now. For example, finding a match forthe heart will have to be done very quickly.

The life of the heart will onlylast approximately four to six hours upon a person’s death. Several tests wouldhave to be performed, while doctors would have to parallel with these tests tofind the patient that needs the organ the most. With such a small number ofhearts available, doctors struggle greatly in finding the perfect match for allof their patients. However, if the number of organs that are available todoctors were to increase, then the number of lives that could be saved wouldalso increase significantly. With the rapidincrease in technology, society has been able to be more productive with a lessamount of effort.

Larger and faster databases have been created, therefore thestoring of organ data will be able to be stored and matched efficiently. Withthe process of organ donation simplified, citizens will be more likely todonate their organs. For example, voting ballots are now being sent home tocitizens so they would have the comfort of voting in the comfort of their ownhome. After they’re done filling out the ballot, they can send it back to thevoting office. With the new option of voting, there has been a great increasein the number of voters. Therefore, once citizensconsent to the organ contract, government workers can scan the contract intothe government database, where a match will immediately be searched. With suchan easy process licensed drivers will be more likely to be an organ donor.

Therefore, taking advantage of technology is a great step to increasing thenumber of organ donors. Many anti organdonors also bring up that by providing citizens with the contract ofautomatically being registered as an organ donor, means to guilt the citizen into donating their organs. However, providing the citizens with the contract isin no means to guilt the citizens, but a form of encouragement to help those inneed. There is no obligation by law for citizens to give up their organs afterdeath. A similar experiment is done at local restaurants. After customers aredone ordering their meal, a server may ask them if they want to add on anothersmall dish or an additional appetizer.

The consumer is not required to acceptthe offer, but they do have the option to if they wish.   Overall, thecontract offered to citizens at the Motor Vehicle Division, is in no way a trapto guilt the citizens, but it is a small form of encouragement that citizenshave the full opportunity to reject or accept. If somewhere down the road, theychoose to reverse their decision that is also a possibility that isoffered.  Offering thecontract to citizens not only encourages citizens to donate organs, but it alsoinforms them about the options that are available to them. A survey wasconducted to research the knowledge of citizens in organ donation. Only 5% admitted thatthey talked to their doctors about it, 6% talked to families about organ donations, and 6% didn’t even knowwhat an organ donor card is .

If the government were to createthe contract, not only would citizens be more likely to consent, but it wouldalso further inform citizens on organ donation. A popular method that hasproven success is during the holidays there are volunteers in front ofdepartment stores ringing bells asking for donations. The public is notrequired to make a donation, but they are being encouraged to as well as beinginformed about the opportunity to help those in need.