It’s very rare to find anyone that could spare a thought for some one else’s suffering. What with bills to pay and hectic lives, living one’s life is occupation enough that even though numerous pleas for help go out through various types of media for organ donors, still today only 1% of South Africa’s population are organ donors. This obviously does not help the 4300 + people (at any given time) waiting in the donor list for livers/ kidneys/ lungs/ hearts. So why is it that people do not donate, is it lack care or ignorance? If it’s lack of awareness, I will dissect a few facts here that help you to make an informed decision.
- There are over 4000 people waiting for donors in South Africa at any given time
Yes, 4300 people or more are living very compromised lives without healthy kidneys, livers etc. You may not care about this, but sad reality is that it could be you one day. Infections can damage kidneys or people can get involved in unfortunate accidents that compromise their organs. Imagine being part of that group? Not nice to think about, but a lot of people do, and you can do something to help and this doesn’t have to be during your lifetime. You can register to donate at the time of your passing.
- You will not be killed to access your organs
The sale of human organs is illegal in South Africa and many other countries for that matter. Getting registered does not put you at risk as your organs will only be taken, in a civilised manner, at the time of passing and even that death would be tested and confirmed. No one will drill through your body and leave it in shambles for burying – imagine such drama! Fear not for they will operate and close leaving your body intact.
- Your organs will have no use after death
When a human dies the body decomposes and returns to “dust”, what will most likely remain are the hard bones of your skeleton but nothing else. So, there is no use or need of your organs after death as they will be either burnt through cremation or decompose underground. Should you choose to donate however, a part of you lives on. The human body is so fascinating that even if one person dies their organs can still come alive once connected to the bloodstream and they receive oxygen. How special is that, giving you kidneys/lungs etc another life.
- Registering as a donor is not enough, tell your family about it
Some people do register with the organ donor foundation (which is awesome, well done!), however, they do not inform their families about it. If the family does not know they have a right to reject at the time of death so even if the deceased was registered as a donor, their family can slam the brakes at the last minute (literally). So, if you do consider registering, please inform your family as well.
So you don’t have to do anything to change your life or use up your time/ energy/ money to donate. All it takes is to register with the organ donor foundation and inform your family about it. that’s all and who knows how many lives you will save by allowing your organs to live on.
For registration see: https://www.odf.org.za/organ-donor-registration