Organ Donation

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Ethics is a kind of philosophy that deals with morality, what is right and what is wrong. Many people have their own opinion on what it means to be right or wrong and that is okay because everybody has a right to their own opinion. But who people know when it’s time to end or start a new life. Bioethics focuses on the moral questions that come up in biological sciences. Bioethics started emerging in the late 1960’s and in the early 1970’s changing the culture and preventing future atrocities.

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The term of bioethics, bio meaning life and ethics meaning the way of acting we can come to the conclusion that bioethics deals with the combination of the natural laws of life and the set of ethics of how one should live their life. This is the study of philosophy as well as a study of biology. The importance of bioethics today is reflected in different parts of our society such as healthcare. Bioethics in healthcare brought awareness to health workers of the medical practice as well as helping the workers understand the patients. People who are on an organ waiting list typically have end-stage organ disease that significantly impacts their quality of life and may be near the end of their life. Receiving an organ can become a life-changing event for these people(Siddique, 2016)

In bioethics there are four basic principles that were proposed by Beauchman and Childress (1979):

  • Autonomy: A person who has the capacity to act and judge consequences of their acts and is responsible.
  • Beneficence: It has to act in benefit of the person, but it can cause collateral effects.
  • No maleficence: Cannot harm unnecessary other people.
  • Justice: Having a balance equal to equal and unequal to unequal, treated the same.

An organ donation is a donation of organ or tissue to another person who is compatible to the organ, helping someone who needs a transplant. The technology that we have today were there are doctors and specialist in this science where there are more possibilities to avoid or prevent a death from happening. But also using the organs form others that are no longer living if they are donors. That is also a great idea being a donor, one day another person will be able to use an organ and that helps save lives. One deceased donor can save up to eight lives through an organ donation and can enhance more than 100 lives through the lifesaving and healing gift of tissue donation.

There are many people who have been waiting years to be able to receive an organ and many don’t realize how important these procedures are and how many lives are depending on this. Organ and tissue donation is more important than many of us realize- for society and for the individuals it directly affects. Today, there are nearly 118000 individuals waiting for an organ transplant (Moritsugu)

Organ donation is the process of surgically removing an organ or tissue from one person (the organ donor) and placing it into another person (the recipient). Transplantation is necessary because the recipient’s organ has failed or has been damaged by disease or injury.(2017)

Many organ donations aren’t seen as the right thing to do but why wouldn’t it be right, if the person is deceased and they had decided before that they wanted to be donors to help others. Why it is not considered the right thing to do? No, it’s not natural but preventing another death if someone can should be considered as another opportunity to life. Different religions have different viewpoints about organ donations, some agree with the process and other so not. Some religions agree with organ donations because, it is viewed as self-sacrifice to help another person who is in need while other religion believe that a body and its parts should remain intact for crossing over to the next life.(Religious Views on Donation, 1995)

When donating there are risks and benefits that come with it just like everything else in life. There are two different categories: Non-directed living organ donation and Directed living organ donation. Living organ donors are usually between the ages of 19 and 60 years old although ages may vary by every transplant center and the health of the person who planning to become a donor candidate.

They must have several point of compatibility including a compatible blood type this might me the most important factor when it comes to donating organs. Also having a compatible tissue type including many other factors in this process these candidates are carefully evaluated by lab tests for example, physical and psychological evaluations making sure that the candidate is healthy to donate.

Below are some basic facts about the need for organ donations and transplantations:

  • Waiting list candidates as of February 2017: 118,511
  • U.S. Transplants, January – December 2016: 33,597
  • U.S. Organ Donors, January – December 2016: 15,945

(Source: United Network for Organ Sharing)

Potential general living donor complications:

  • Pain
  • Infection at the incision site
  • Incisional hernia
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots

There are many benefits that come with organ transplant such as the quality of life for the recipient it can greatly improve the health and quality of life. Being able to spend more time with their family and friends by increasing the life span of a patient. A kidney transplant dramatically increases the life span of a patient by about 10 years and improves their quality of life.(2016)There are also many benefits for the donor such as experiencing a special moment and being able to help a person and possibly saving their life.

There are also many myths that people think that if you are an organ donor doctors won’t put in the effort to or work as hard to save their life. This is not true, patients are being cared by a non-transplant medical professional who do not know whether the patient is a registered donor…(Siddique, 2016) So there is not a way for the medical to know if that person is a donor they do all they can to not let any person die.

Many also think that their organs wouldn’t be good enough for an organ transplant, there are very few medical conditions that do not let a person become a donor but there are also tissue donations that can be donated.

How can everybody become an organ donor, for the people who do wish in becoming an organ donor, there are a sequence of steps they have to follow. Joining a donor registry, sign and carry an organ donor card or it can also appear in your driver’s license (ID), also letting family members know the important decision that was made.

If there were many more people who would consider in becoming organ donors there would possibly be a much smaller list. But many people have a different way of thinking; not saying it is wrong because everybody is has the liberty of making their own decisions. Knowing that we all have the possibility of saving more than one life has to feel great, Following through a major procedure such as organ transplant and knowing after that you were able to save lives has to be the greatest feeling ever. Giving thousands of children and adults a chance at living full and active lives, almost anybody regardless their gender, race or age can become an organ donor or tissue donor.

Unfortunately there are thousands of people that never get an organ transplant, many doctors and transplant centers note that they don’t have enough organs. There are many patients who die daily because they are waiting for organ donors. Not everybody is considering the great opportunity to become an organ donor and that is okay everybody has their own opinion to donating. But becoming an organ donator is an opportunity to help save more than one life with just one body. Most religions support donation, including Catholics, Protestants. Islam and most of the branch of Judaism and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.(Mallory) This is a major decision but it is also helping many lives, there is always a way to be able to give back and this is a way to be able to do so. Why wouldn’t want to help someone in need. Many people think that they will never need an organ donation or none of their family or loved ones will need one. It can happen to anybody and everybody should be aware, unfortunately nobody can say it will never happen. Why not be prepared for whatever there is to come and also helping others while we can.

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Organ Donation. (2020, Apr 07). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from
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