The perpetual debate regarding the mandatory nature of organ donation remains inconclusive. Anyone wishing to donate their organs demonstrates a sense of social responsibility and kindness. This act should always be conducted with integrity and the hope of saving lives, as well as providing solace to numerous families. A person choosing to donate their organs after death can potentially save approximately eight lives, a privilege for the donor and a glimmer of hope for the recipients. This noble cause poses no harm.
The Importance of Organ Donation
Each year, countless individuals receive the precious gift of life through organ donations from generous souls who have enabled them to undergo life-saving transplants such as kidney, lung, heart, liver, and more. Some even regain their sight through cornea donations. The ability to transplant organs represents one of science's most significant achievements. The process begins when a person requires an organ transplant. After thorough evaluation and based on their specific needs, they are placed on a waiting list until a suitable candidate, considering all the necessary factors, is found. Blood type, medical history, recent illnesses, and geographical proximity play crucial roles in this matching process due to the lengthy waiting lists. The transplantation of organs can change the trajectory of uncertainty to a hopeful new chance at life. Furthermore, donors need not worry about expenses, as the procurement agency takes care of all financial matters.
The inspiration behind choosing this particular topic is the drama series "BREATHE," which profoundly conveyed the message of how a single organ donor can impact several lives, not only the patient but also their family members. However, the series also depicted a negative aspect with the father's character resorting to inappropriate means to save his son. According to Jordan Baker (2012), the generations most in need of organs are least likely to be registered as donors. While health conditions may disqualify some individuals from becoming donors, the rest of us have a duty to donate for those in need. Although organ donation should not be compulsory, fostering a culture where individuals are motivated to donate would be a commendable approach.
The wait for an available organ can be a matter of life and death. The increasing demand for organ donors necessitates more people to step forward. Empathy should be cultivated towards those facing such circumstances. Imagine being told by your cardiologist that you have only six months to live unless a compatible heart for transplantation is found. This grim reality is experienced by many in dire conditions every moment of their lives. The waiting period can extend from days to weeks, months, or even years. The feeling of living with the uncertainty of survival due to a failing organ, seeing darkness at the end of the tunnel, is undeniably dreadful. Although numerous people are compatible donors, many hesitate to come forward. Meanwhile, the families of those in need desperately plead for their beloved ones' lives to be saved.
Furthermore, some individuals are reluctant to donate organs due to religious beliefs. In Islam, there is no explicit verse permitting organ donation. However, a conference revealed that three conditions must be met for the act to be considered a blessing – the donation must solely aim to save a life, the donor should not do it for financial gain, and the donor's life should not be jeopardized in the process. The Quran emphasizes that saving one life is akin to saving humanity entirely. A notable humanitarian and role model, Abdul Sattar Edhi, donated his corneas after death, inspiring many others to do the same. After Edhi's eye donation, the Transplantation Society of Pakistan noted an increase of 504 people approaching to donate their organs.
The tragic case of Haripriya Suresh, an Indian boy with cystic fibrosis in January 2018, illustrates the urgent need for a transplant within a month. Despite being registered fourth on the list, his rare AB-negative blood group posed challenges in finding a suitable donor, ultimately leading to his untimely death.
In another unfortunate event, Sharad and Patel faced an accident in one city, leaving one critically injured and declared brain dead by doctors. In a different city, a young girl was suffering from congenital heart disease, urgently requiring a heart transplant. The girl's parents learned about the brain dead boy and fervently pleaded with his parents to donate his heart. Initially reluctant, they eventually agreed, acknowledging the emotional appeal and the chance to save another life.
Europe experienced a distressing case where four individuals contracted cancer due to an organ donation. The chain of events began with a 53-year-old organ donor woman passing away from a stroke. Subsequently, a woman who received her lungs through a transplant was diagnosed with cancer. The source of the cancer cells was traced back to the donated lungs. More cases followed, highlighting the importance of careful screenings and precautions in organ transplantation.
Ike, a 52-year-old man who endured a heart attack and bypass surgery, suffered another heart attack, severely weakening his heart. He was informed about the possibility of a transplant, and the waiting period began. Day by day, he grew sicker, living with the constant fear of his heart failing. His pager, a constant reminder of his fragile state, kept him on edge, awaiting news of a potential heart donor. Finally, within 24 hours, he transformed from a 57-year-old man with a failing heart to one with renewed hope for a healthy life.
At the tender age of 7, Alexa Kersting was diagnosed with a lung disease, necessitating a transplant. By the age of 12, pulmonary hypertension had developed due to the prolonged wait for an organ. Despite her bravery and dreams of post-transplant life, the wait proved too long, and she tragically passed away at 14, leaving an irreplaceable void in her family's hearts.
In conclusion, while I acknowledge the value of organ donation, I do not believe it should be made mandatory. It is akin to looting someone's property after their passing, which is ethically incorrect. However, if an individual's organ is no longer of use to them and can potentially save another life, it becomes a responsibility to help those in need. Organ donation should remain a voluntary and noble choice.
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