Friday, 16 January 2009

Being an organ donor

Have you guys ever considered being an organ donor? Those who aren't one yet, that is. To be honest, although I wasn't totally against it, I had never wanted to be one myself. Martin on the other hand, was all for it, and it was almost as if it was his dream to be one... .

A few days ago, we received new social security cards from the commune because our previous doctor had passed away, so we needed a new doctor assigned to us. For those who do not live in Denmark, our doctor's name is shown on our social security cards, that's why a new one has to be sent when we change doctors.

Anyway, together with our new cards, there was also an organ donor card in the envelope. I didn't see it, but a couple of days later, I saw that Martin had filled it out for himself, giving permission to be cut up and have his organs taken away and re-used.

"You wanna be cut up and all that when you die?!?!" I asked him.
"Yeah, why not? I don't care when I'm dead anyway," he said
"But, but..."

Yeah, "But what" Sheila??? It's one thing to be cut up while still alive, and another to be cut up when dead, right? So why not??? If it means saving someone else's life? If we can't do this while still alive, at least do it when we're dead. So what was stopping ME?

Many irrational reasons, really.

Ethics? But there's nothing unethical about this.
Respect for my body when I'm dead? Why would I care about respect when I'm dead?
Going to heaven in 1 piece? But we'll get brand new bodies in heaven anyway, so why would I want the old, imperfect organs with me?
Leaving earth the way we came on it? Erhm...because why?

There are absolutely NO LOGICAL REASONS *not* to be an organ donor!!! None. Nada.

Martin then asked me this:

In case of emergencies, Would it be fair then to say that EVERY adult who are NOT registered donors either 1) doesn't get entitled to any organs themselves, or 2) gets put way down on the priority list?

My quick answer was of course "Yes, that's fair!" Like...DUH! Stupid question! And then right after answering it, my brain gave me the image of ME on that operating table and me NEEDING an organ to survive. If I'm not a donor myself, why SHOULD I be given one? It'll be very egoistic to expect an organ from someone else when I don't want to give my own away, no?

So yeah...that kinda nailed it hard for me. All my illogical reasons just vanished into thin air in a split second. Of course, the government has not come up with such a condition (yet?), but...I don't know...I guess when I face that life or death situation, I will FEEL better in receiving an organ knowing that I'll also give mine away in death. I will feel more human when the time comes for me to help other humans in such a way when I can.

After all, physically when we die, if we don't get cremated, we'll for sure be buried and DECOMPOSED anyway. But if my healthy organs can be used to SAVE someone else, then in some physical way, not only will they continue to live, but I will also still live on... . My heart will still be beating away... . That's kinda surreal, isn't it?

Anyway, it's a very personal decision... . Well, not 100% personal, since you can also let your next of kin decide for you to some extent when you die...but personal while you're still alive.

Some people say "YES!" without any hesitation whatsoever, most are in the middle saying "I don't know yet," and I believe only a few are those who say "NO WAY!" without any hesitation. I think it's good to at least be in the middle, rather than on the extreme "no" end. Shows you still have a heart to give to mankind...when you finally decide to do so. If in the end, you decide not to, just the fact that you had at least considered wouldn't make you totally heartless.

But yeah, when you're ready to make that step, then you'll have a peace in your heart when you fill out the form... . I registered online a couple of days ago, and will get a letter confirming my decision within 3 weeks. I'm just glad I won't be alive to feel anything when the time comes to cut me up. Easier to commit to it in this way, as I doubt I'll volunteer to donate a bone marrow or a kidney to strangers while I'm still alive... .

For those of you who are still considering, take your time to think. When you feel the peace in your heart upon reaching your decision, whether it's a yes or a no, that would be the right answer for YOU. It is after all, your body to do with as you please.

And to those in Denmark, if you want to register to be an organ donor, you can do so on the Sundhed website. Trust me - it takes less than 1 minute to do it! You can also change your mind later on too, so it's not binding...unless you die before you change your mind, of course.

If you already have a donor card in your wallet, I would recommend to register online anyway because even though the signed card in your wallet is valid enough, what if you were robbed of your wallet with your card in it, and stabbed to death? No record then of your wish to be an organ donor.

As an end note, I may be wrong, but I think that it should be WAY easier for people who are already parents to make the decision to be organ donors. I mean, they are the ones who should be able to understand the giving of life better than anyone else since they MADE life, and they are the ones who should know what giving and sacrifice is really about. Right?

Btw, try to watch Seven Pounds starring Will Smith in some relation to this topic.