Posted: 13 October 2016 at 5:21am | IP Logged
Since the first kidney transplant in 1954, Organ Transplantation has gone through a remarkable revolution. Today, being an organ donor not only evokes a sense of being proud but also content. Content, from the knowledge that once we die, aspects of our body will continue to live on as they save other lives. Proud, because even with the growing popularity of life saving organ transplantation surgeries, and the subsequent success stories splashed all over news journals, people are still hesitating to take the initiative to donate their organs. According to surveys, there is an extreme shortage of organ donors all over the world making over 115, 000 men, women and children to be placed in a long waiting process to get their organ transplants.
So what exactly is it that makes people hesitant from becoming potential donors?
Well, like every good thing, Organ Donation, people argue, has a dark side too.
A list of pros and cons for Organ Donation has been compiled to better inform as to what it exactly is.
Saving multiple lives: A single donor has the ability to save up to eight lives. Until a donor becomes available, a transplant recipient has to undergo various expensive treatments that are administered on a regular basis. When a donor does become available, the patients undergo a surgery for the organ transplantation to occur. Once the surgery is successful, the patient is able to live life anew again as they can feel let go of the mental, emotional, physical and financial stress that came along with their medical ailment.
Second chance at life: In Organ Donation, the positives are experienced by both the recipients and donors. Those who received the organ transplant will have a second chance at life, where they will have an opportunity to return to a normal lifestyle. For a living donor, it provides a good feeling and an opportunity to perform a humanitarian act. As for the relatives of a deceased donor, it provides a sense of satisfaction in having the knowledge that their dear loved one continues to live on.
Offer consolation: The grief of families is usually overwhelming if a person dies at young age. For such families, organ donation can be a great way to heal from the sudden death of their loved ones. The knowledge that a small piece of their loved one lives on in someone else's body provides a sense of comfort, especially if the recipient lives on to enjoy a long and fruitful life. A sense of consolation can also be felt if you donate organs to the individuals who are struggling for life at a young age.
Providing Medical Science a research opportunity: If you are not in favor of donating organs to complete strangers, then you can also donate your organs to science. Medical students require cadavers to perform their procedures in real, but less risky situations before becoming professional doctors. Also, if you are suffering from a rare disease and you donate your organs or body to medical doctors, you will provide a source of research that will help find a cure or treatment for the next patient. Even after your death, you will be able to save many lives when the cure is discovered.
Prolonged suffering of the donors & their families: Most of the time organ extraction from the donor's body is permitted only when the donor is dead, unless they are donating paired organs like a kidney or a lung, where the donor can survive with just one. However, the definition of death is to some extent open and flexible. A person is considered dead medically if they are brain-dead. The darker part here is that many of the organ donors are victims of head-trauma, who end up being ruled dead based on this brain-death criterion. Many argue that the brain-death diagnosisis not exactly a science making chances of error great. In primary brain-death exams, a doctor splashes ice water in the ears to look for shivering in the eyes, pokes the eyes with a cotton swab and checks for any gag reflexes. Finally in the "Apnea" test, the ventilator is disconnected to see if the patient can breathe unassisted. If the patient can't, then they are brain-dead. Once the patient is declared brain-dead, the respirator is reconnected so oxygen can begin to circulate and pump blood, keeping the organs "fresh". In this situation, the patient is called a Beating Heart Cadaver (BHC). The problem is that plenty of BHCs still have brain waves and occasionally, BHCs even start breathing again by themselves. Whether they are actually dead or not might be up for debate, but this uncertainty, quite rightly, has led many people to worry and confusion. The families of the donor go through great suffering as well as they constantly sway between hope and devastation.
Prolonged suffering for the recipients: Waiting for a donor is a stressful experience, especially when the time that separates the patient between waiting and surviving is very slim. The very thought that a recipient will die before any donor turns up, often worsens the patient's condition. If there is still some form of brain activity, the donor will continue to be on life support providing hope to their family, but discouragement to the recipient.
Possible transplant rejection and post-surgery complication: Organ transplantation surgeries bear a great share of risks. Living organ donations may lead to potential side effects, blood clots, hemorrhaging or damage to tissues and organs surrounding the area that is being operated. There is also a chance that the body might reject the newly transplanted organ and all these pains will go in vain. It can also be possible for the recipients to live with the newly transplanted organs for weeks or months before the body starts to reject it. That is equally disheartening, if not more.
Financial issues: While organ donation is free, pre and post-surgery hospitalizations are not. If the body takes time to accept the new organ, the recipient will have to stay under medical supervision which will cause the costs to further increase.
Religious obligations: Sometimes the decision of donating organs depends on the religion one follows. Most religions are in favor of blood and organ donations, but there are some which don't allow it. Also, in most cases, donors don't get to choose their organs' recipients. Due to this, donors hesitate to donate since the religious belief of the recipient might differ from the donor.
Illegal trade of organs: Though it is illegal in many countries, the unethical trade of human organs is globally spread due to the huge amount of money that is involved. Many of these rackets have been busted, but many are still operating. Mainly the unbalanced ratio of required vs. available organs is behind this illegal trade. It is worrisome that because of the money involved, many individuals such as prison inmates or kidnapped children are forced to donate their organs against their will.
Even though we compiled a list of possible pros and cons for organ donation, remember, the decision is entirely yours as to whether you would like to become a potential donor or not. Simply remember, prior to making your decision, educate yourself thoroughly.
Edited by ..Ramya.. - 13 October 2016 at 5:45am