7 resources for individuals considering organ donation

August 16, 2013

The need for organ donors is urgent. While the modern miracle of organ transplants saves countless lives each year, the medical community faces an astounding shortage of donors each year.┬áBecause of this, over 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for organ donors each year. Over those, 6,000 die waiting for what would have been life-saving surgeries.There are many reasons why people do not choose to be organ donors. Some refrain for religious reasons. Others do not know about how to register as organ donors. And some people fail to write Living Wills, where they can donate their organs, regardless of their family’s oppositions.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled seven solid resources everyone should look up as they go through the process of becoming organ donors:

  1. WebMD organ donation FAQs: Before volunteering your organs for donation, it is good to have a general knowledge about what organ registration looks like and how you can be a part of it. This WebMD article is a resource for folks with general questions about organ donation.
  2. National Kidney Foundation: Kidneys are one of the few organs you can donate while you’re still alive. They are also the most urgently needed organ, as the average wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-4 years. The National Kidney Foundation answers from frequently asked questions in this article.
  3. U.S. Living Will Registry: If you wish to donate more organs after death, you need to draft a living will. The U.S. Living Will Registry instructs you on how to ensure that your wishes are met after death.
  4. The ethics of organ donation: For a more comprehensive view of the ethics of organ donation, this article by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics examines the moral issues surrounding organ transplants, from the risks involved to who gets access to donor organs.
  5. Religious perspectives on organ transplants: Faith plays a huge role in the decision-making process for many families. The British Organ Donor Campaign produced this report that address the key issues for people of different faiths considering donating organs.
  6. Tennessee Donor Services: For information on organ donation in Tennessee, Tennessee Donor Services is your No. 1 resource for the local donor registry and transplant process.
  7. Bone Marrow Transplant: While not an organ, bone marrow is also an urgently needed resource that can be donated while a patient is still alive. Cancer.gov posted this Fact Sheet about bone marrow transplants and how they combat cancer.

Filed under: Decision Making,Organ donation

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