7 Important Reasons to Become an Organ Donor

- | 76 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Life & Inspiration

A woman organ donor with a paper heart in hand

Recently, I became a registered organ donor.

I didn’t take this step to receive anything and I have not given anything to anyone yet, but I’m already filled with a sense of satisfaction and inner happiness.

The fact that I will be able to help people even after my death is so overwhelming that I can’t stop smiling. 🙂

I like to help people, either by giving advice, teaching, training, or by writing inspirational articles.

However, the biggest way I can help anyone is to give the gift of life to someone who needs it – by becoming an organ donor.

Organ donation to me is the biggest and greatest charity. In fact, this charity requires the least of your efforts.

You do not have to give any money to anyone, nor do you have to spend your precious time.

All you have to do is register yourself.

To make it more accessible and easy, you can do that online by visiting the national donor registry website, filling in the information asked, and submitting it by clicking a button.

It’s as simple as that!

Among all your web surfing activities, I’m sure this will be your most useful and helpful one if you chose to go this way to donate your organs!

However, I know you would want more information about organ donation and the reasons why should you become an organ donor.

I can say this because I felt the same way, thus went ahead and researched all about organ donation before signing up for it.

I will be more than glad to share the information with you, if it helps you.

“I think you should automatically donate your organs because that would turn the balance of organ donation in a huge way. I would donate whatever anybody would take, and I’d probably do the cremation bit.” ~ George Clooney

What is Organ Donation

According to Wikipedia, organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation.

The Cleveland Clinic defines organ donation as the process of surgically removing an organ or tissue from one person (the organ donor) and placing it into another person (the recipient).

In simple words, organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another.

 “Don’t take your organs to heaven with you.  Heaven knows we need them here.” ~Author unknown

Which Organs Can Be Donated

Most of the vital organs of a human body can be donated. These are the heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas.

However, these organ transplants are done only in cases of “brain death” of the patients.

Brain Death — Brain death occurs when the brain is totally and irreversibly non-functional. Brain death is caused when there is not enough blood supply of oxygen, which causes the brain cells to die.

In cases of natural death, other organs and tissues can be donated like the corneas, heart valves and veins, skin, bones and tendons, and bone marrow etc.

There are some organs and tissues that can also be donated while the donor is alive. These include one kidney, one lobe of liver, one lung in part or full, and part of the pancreas and the intestines.

Among tissues, living donors can donate blood, blood stem cells, certain bones after knee and hip replacements, bone marrow, skin, and amnion and umbilical cord blood after childbirth.

Human body diagram showing organs and tissues for donation

“Don’t think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive.  It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive. ~Author Unknown

Who Can Become an Organ Donor

The willing living donors should be fit, completely healthy, and in the age range of 18 to 60 years.

However, in case of natural or brain death, even children can be organ donors after the consent of the parents and family members.

In all the cases, the donors are screened for conditions and diseases like HIV, cancer, diabetes, kidney or heart disease etc.

The organ transplant process becomes easier if the donor and recipient’s blood and tissue types match.

There are countries where people are required to “opt in” or register themselves as organ donors, whereas there are also countries that by default consider the brain dead patients as organ donors.

Among such countries that have presumed consent system, some do have an “opt out” facility for those who do not wish to donate their body organs after death.

In the United States, even the non-residents can donate or receive organs, without the citizenship being a hurdle.

How Much Does The Family Matter For Organ Donation

A lot!

You can judge from this statement in a UK news website that “During 2013/14, more than four in 10 families approached about organ donation, said no to donating a loved one’s organs.”

This is in spite of the deceased having signed to be an organ donor.

Family refusal is the biggest hurdle and problem to organ donation even after its pledged by the dead while living.

That is why it is necessary that people who register for organ donation should let their loved ones know of their decision and request the family member to honor their wish in case of a tragedy.

“Be a blood and organ donor.  All it costs is a little love. ~Author Unknown

Why Should You Become an Organ Donor

There are many reasons for you to become an organ donor but I will mention seven reasonable points that you should consider.

From all of the below mentioned reasons, this ONE is a good and solid reason for you to sign up.

Reason 1: “1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives

Do you need any more convincing? It is not only to one person, but you can give the gift of life to up to eight people!

These may be your known ones or even unknown people, who are waiting in need for transplantation of some body organ or tissue. This is not all.

Reason 2: “You can enhance the lives of over 50 people by way of tissue donation

The American National Institute of Health verifies this fact of organ donation.

However, even if this falls short, then the following is a big reason for you to be an organ donor:

Reason 3: “There are more potential recipients on organ donation waiting lists than organ donors

The world needs people like you to help other people even after leaving this world.

Your death may fill your family members with grief, but it can give life to someone and bring happiness to another family.

This is one strong reason why you should sign up for organ donation.

Reason 4: “Giving the ‘Gift of Life’ may lighten the grief of your own family

The U.S. Government Information on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation website reports many donor families saying that knowing other lives have been saved, helps them cope with their tragic loss.

It is a major reason why I chose to register for organ donation because I want my family to feel good and proud that I continued to help others even after I was gone.

I’ve one more personal reason.

Reason 5: “Donating organs can help overcome death anxiety

Believe me, after signing up for organ donation, I already feel assured and content.

I feel that my life would not be futile and my death would be an extension of life, as it would be of use to someone.

Moreover, I’d be gifting life to others. This makes me be less worried about death and more connected to life.

Reason 6: “Organ Donation is the biggest charity

No doubt, organ donation is the biggest act of giving!

Even if you have not participated in any act of charity earlier, you can do so after your death.

Nevertheless, how much will it cost you?

Reason 7: “Organ donation is going to cost nothing to you or your family members

The entire organ harvesting and transplantation expenses are borne by the recipients, and they probably have their insurance to take care of that.

If there isn’t much for people to remember after you are gone, they will surely remember you for your act of organ donation.

Remember, you have the power to save lives.

Imagine! You can make people see, breathe, walk, feel, smile, enjoy and enhance their quality of life.

You can do all this by just signing up in your country’s national registry for organ donation.

90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor – Donate Life America

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~Kahlil Gibran

How to Become an Organ Donor

If you are convinced and willing to be an organ donor, the rest is an easy and simple process.

Step 1: Register

Fill up the form and submit it online. You can also indicate which organs you wish to donate.

Step 2: Carry Donor Card

You will receive a donor card. You should sign it and always carry it with you.

Step 3: Discuss with Family

You need to let your family and friends know about your decision and wishes.

Step 4: Driver’s License

Indicate on your driver’s license that you are an organ donor.

Step 5: Promote your Will

You can help spread awareness and motivate others by disclosing your decision on the social media networks. You should also mention your decision in your will.

Depending on the country you reside, you will need to open the website related to organ donation approved by the government or visit its local office, whichever suits you better.

Here, I have compiled a small list of websites of a few countries that accept online registration for organ donation.

United States – Organ Donor

United KingdomOrgan Donation

Canada Be a Donor

AustraliaHuman Services

Philippines – National Kidney and Transplant Institute

SingaporeLive On

South AfricaOrgan Donor Foundation

MalaysiaMalaysian Society of Transplantation

Pakistan – Transplantation Society of Pakistan

ChinaSave Life

This list is not comprehensive. Even the countries mentioned here have many other private and government organization that accept registration for organ donation.

I also wanted to include Nigeria and other countries in this list, but could not find their organ donation website.

I request you to submit the link to your country’s organ donor online registry in your comment if it does not find its mention in this post, so that others can benefit from it.

Here is a small video about organ donation and transplantation. Do watch it.

Donation and Transplantation: How does it work? ~ HRSAtube ~ YouTube video

“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Organ Donation Facts

Every year thousands of people all around the world die while waiting for an organ transplant.

This is because they do not find any suitable donor, and not many people come forward to donate their organs.

Globally, over millions of people are currently waiting for an organ transplant. As of August 2014, about 123,300 people in the United States are on the waiting list!

In India, with a population of 1.2 Billion people, there are only 0.08 persons as organ donors per million populations (PMP). This is a very low contribution.

As a result, about 500,000 people die every year because of non-availability of organs.

Countries that have the family consent system like UK, USA, Australia, Germany, and Netherlands have a donation rate of about 10-30 PMP.

Whereas, countries like Singapore, Belgium, and Spain with the presumed consent system have the donation rate of 20-40 PMP.

Austria with an opt-out system, has the highest global consent rate of 99.98% with 21 donor PMP. Spain tops the organ donors contributions with 34 donors per million inhabitants.

Yet, it is not able to meet the requirement of organ donation. More people around the world need to step forward and make this important commitment.

Organ Trade

According to Wikipedia, organ trade is the trade involving inner human organs (heart, liver, kidneys, etc.) for organ transplantation.

This was a thriving business until some time ago. Presently, most countries have put a ban on organ trafficking and illegal transplant tourism.

However, some countries like Iran, Australia, and Singapore have legalized monetary compensations for organ donors.

Yet, sadly, the black marketing and illegal trade of human organs continues. It would only stop when more and more people pledge to donate their organs after death.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~ Albert Pike

Organ Donation Day

There are various days assigned for organ donation in various countries.

In the US, April 11 is celebrated as the blue and green day in an effort to spread awareness about organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation.

Few sites there mention February 14 as the National Organ Donor Day.

Some celebrate August 6 as the World Organ Donation Day.

And India is beginning its Organ Donation Day on August 13 this year.

Organ donation day logo

All Indians who have made up their minds to contribute to this noble cause can visit the “Organ Donation Day” website and register themselves, just as Harleena and I did!

Having said that, there is no day or age to be an organ donor. You can take action anytime, even NOW!

How inspired and motivated are you after reading this post and watching the video?

Please take a moment to let me know your opinion by taking this poll:

Besides family consent, there are more hurdles to organ donation and transplant, and these are myths about organ donation and religious beliefs.

I may write another post later about the myths people have regarding donating their organs and how we can deal with them.

“Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kindly share this post among your friends and followers to create more awareness about organ donation. This is to persuade more and more people to become organ donors.

Please use any of the resources mentioned in this post. I hope you all act to give people a second life.

Be a happy organ donor. 🙂

Share Your Thoughts –

What do you think about organ donation? Would you become an organ donor? If not, then what are your reservations or what’s stopping you to be one? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Disclaimer: None of the links in this post are affiliate links! 🙂



Show Comments

76 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Ganesh J. Acharya

    August 17, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    “However, you cannot measure all doctors and hospitals with the same yardstick.” Which doctor in this world today knows perfectly what death is? How are they declaring people’s death? Is there a consensus in the scientific community with regards to what death is? with regards How one actually dies? with regards whether body be preserved without cells dying etc? Is the scientific community clearly aware?

    • Vinay Kachhara

      August 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Ganesh,

      This post focuses only on organ donation and is not an exhaustive or comprehensive post on death, which we may consider writing about in the future. So for now, I’d suggest you seek other so many available sources to find answers to your questions, which are out of the scope of this post. Thanks.

  2. Ganesh J. Acharya

    August 16, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Organ donation ethical when doctors prone to making mistakes when declaring patients dead? It should be in fact abolished in present circumstances. Organ donation is going to present threat to life if doctor makes a mistake whereby they fail examining life in an alive individual. Below are reports in leading news papers where doctors failed to examine life and declared their patients dead.

    1) NEW YORK: A patient who had been declared ‘dead’ opened her eyes just as doctors prepared to remove her organs in a hospital here.

    2) Polish woman declared dead wakes up in mortuary
    “Officials say Janina Kolkiewicz, 91, was declared dead after an examination by the family doctor.”

    3) “‘Dead’ three-year-old girl wakes up in coffin at her own funeral in Philippines…” “The child had been pronounced dead by doctors”

    4) Man declared dead wakes up “Doctors allegedly confirmed his death and handed over the body to his family on Sunday morning. ”

    5) Woman declared dead, ‘wakes up’ before funeral
    “JAIPUR: In a bizarre incident a 72-year-old woman, who was declared ‘dead’, started breathing when her relatives were about to burn her ‘body’ on the funeral pyre on Wednesday.”

    • Vinay Kachhara

      August 17, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Ganesh, I can understand that you are disturbed by reading such news reports.

      Medical negligence should be avoided. However, since doctors too are human and they err, so unfortunate incidents do happen. If the negligence is on purpose and the doctors are corrupt, there should be stringent laws to punish them so such unfortunate incidents do not happen. Declaring a person dead just for the purpose of harvesting the organs is not ethical at all. However, you cannot measure all doctors and hospitals with the same yardstick.

      We also read about genuine organ donation cases which helped save lives. If you believe that you’ll be killed in the hospital just because doctors are interested in harvesting your organs, then do not enroll yourself for organ donation. Those who enroll themselves for organ donation, do that after much contemplation and discussion. And even after the person has registered for organ donation, the family of that person has all the right to deny if they do not wish it to be done or they suspect any thing fishy or wrong doing.

      Also, the doctors do not know that you are a registered organ donor, unless you or your family members tell them. So, just don’t tell them or even do not have it mentioned in your driver’s license. You may also include a clause in your will stating your acceptable conditions for organ donation.

      Ganesh, there are some doctors who sacrifice their conscience for money. On the other hand, you’ll also find conscientious and law-abiding doctors. And as for making mistakes, there might be some doctors who do that unintentionally – remember that doctors are not God and they aren’t perfect too (but intentionally hiding their mistakes is not right or ethical). You need to think on all the aspects. If you have a negative perspective, try to see the positive side too.

      Though you’ve the right to be skeptical and promote your views, that does not stop me and other people from going beyond that to serve humanity. Finally, I believe organ donation is one of the best charities and I trust my family to ensure that it really helps the needy, more so the poor.

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your views.

  3. Adeel Sami

    August 13, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Hello Vinay,

    One important post and the message! It is something almost anyone consider about donating the organs.

    I am actually undecided at the moment. Will think through more of it to come closer to the decision.

    What I am really happy to see that my country, Pakistan, is listed into your list and accepts online applications of donors. Really geat!

    Thanks for this thought-provoking article, Vinay! And I congratulate you on becoming donor. May GOD always bless you, amen!

    ~ Adeel

  4. Philip Verghese Ariel

    August 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Hi Vinay and Harleena,
    Great initiative!
    Let us make aware about it to our fellow citizens.
    I really missed the bus! 🙂
    I just re-shared thru my social media platforms
    Keep up the good work.
    Have a great and Healthy Days Ahead
    Best
    ~ Phil

  5. Paulo André

    January 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Wow, very good your article. Among several things we saw on the internet, it is very useful and important for humanity.

  6. Edward

    November 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Vinay
    Your blog is really an interesting one. I am also a part time writer and love to read articles related to medical sciences. I believe in donating organs, but I was skipping many important things, all of which I came to know from your blog post. The topics you choose are really helpful and thanks for this amazing post as well

  7. Jean Aroldi

    November 5, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Indeed it’s a really important thing! What is the most important to think when we’re talking about rgan donor, is how it can help not only one person, but also a complete family by helping them to keep one of their family member alive!

  8. Jose Ailton

    October 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I am inspired by your post too. Thank You Very Much!

  9. gogliko

    September 19, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Vinay,
    I am inspired by your post.Your organ can give a new life to a person. A good initiative taken by post. I will also make other people understand the value of being organ donor.
    Thanks for tremendous post.

  10. Monika Sharma

    September 15, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Hi Vinay Kachhara, Congratulations for this such a nice & Beautiful Post about Organ Donor ! Vinay I watch a Indian Movie Vicky Donor in 2012 & theme of Vicky Donor movie was “Sperm Donor” ! Basically we never hear this kind of donation name in our society but after watching “Vicky Donor” I understand there are this kid of work ! Which helps to People & gives lives But after that I didn’t hear about Organ Donor & Sperm Donor ! Now I understand we all must be aware about Donor that how Being Donor is great work ! Which gives live & hope to people ! So I’m very happy with your this post ! You really did a nice work to share this valuable post with all & Basically details about Being a Organ Donor !

  11. Jenny

    September 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks for this post. Fortunately, my uncle got a healthy donor for kidney transplant. Until now, he’s still alive through taking meds everyday and those are expensive by the way.

  12. Isaac

    September 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you so much for the post. Being an organ donor myself, I’m surprised at how many people do not become donors. This post provides some really good insight on how much value an individual can provide to multiple lives just by becoming a donor. Giving back to people in need should be one of the biggest focus in people’s lives.

  13. Datta Ghosh

    September 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hi Vinay,

    Already donated but I want to donate body. I want to pledge my body after death. Can you tell me the steps for that.

    • Vinay Kachhara

      September 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Datta,

      Medical hospitals are in great need of cadavers for the medical students to experiment on. Very few people donate their body after death to hospitals and you could only find the right procedure to do so directly from your local hospital. Hope this helps.

      Thanks for your comment.

  14. Rana Ali

    August 31, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Your blog is great for supporting life and humanity… There are people like you in this world who save life of the innocent.. God help those who love his people…

    • Vinay Kachhara

      September 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Rana Ali,

      I’m glad you like the post and thanks for your kind words. Glad you commented.

  15. Archana

    August 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Vinay,
    I am inspired by your post.Your organ can give a new life to a person. A good initiative taken by post. I will also make other people understand the value of being organ donor.
    Thanks for tremendous post.

    • Vinay Kachhara

      September 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Archana,

      I’m glad this post could inspire you and thanks for sharing your thoughts and this post. 🙂

  16. Debbie D.

    August 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Excellent post on organ donation. Sorry I missed this earlier. Puts my little slap-dash effort to shame, but any publicity for the cause is good, yes? I became a donor many years ago and also had a friend who gained 10 extra years of life because of a liver transplant.

    • Vinay Kachhara

      September 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      I’m glad you like the post and thanks for sharing it. Thanks for sharing the case of your friend, I’m sure you and your friend’s family now value organ donation more than ever.

      Thanks for your comment.

  17. Mayura

    August 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    This is a wonderful post to promote public awareness about organ donation and thanks for sharing your experience as a registered organ donor. I believe Harleena is feeling the same way you are.

    To be honest, I’m afraid of donating my organs while I’m alive though I was fortunate to donate my blood. And I will. For a long time, I had the thought in my mind to donate my eyes to the local eye donation society and body to a Medical school after my death. But, after reading your post, I’m undecided if my body should be better served to the Human Tissue Bank here in Sri Lanka. Well, I gotta research more about it and decide as I learn more about the health status of the body over time.

    Anyway, the age range, 18 to 60, caught my attention. If I die after my 60s, donating my organs will be rather useless? 🙂 Or better served to medical students?

    I’m glad you decided to write about this apt topic alongside the World Organ Donation day, Vinay. Hopefully, it will inspire more people to donate their organs (At least their blood). I think readers will start to think in a different way about their death after reading this post.

    Thanks for this wonderful post and it got me thinking about more ways I can donate the organs I have 🙂

    You both have a lovely week, Vinay and Harleena 🙂

    Cheers…

    • Vinay Kachhara

      September 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      It is indeed a difficult decision to take to donate organs while living. Yes, blood donation is easy and people do that in great numbers.

      While I researched for the topic, I got to know that SriLanka is one of the top places that exports eyes. However, anywhichway, you eventually help people.

      No, the organs do not become useless after the age of 60. In fact many people in 80s have also donated organs. It depends on the state of health and the condition of the organs too. Cadavers are always useful for the medical students.

      I’m glad you like the post and yes, I too hope that this will spread awareness and make people more educated about this topic.

      Thanks for your comment.




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7 Important Reasons to Become an Organ Donor