Organ donation is the process of donating one of your organs or tissue to a person who needs it. This can be divided into two types: living (in which you make a donation while you’re still alive) or deceased (in which your organs are donated to other people when you pass away).
There are several ways through which you can become an organ donor. You can sign up for a national database that records your intentions to donate when you pass away. You can also donate an organ to a friend or family member who needs it or even become an altruistic donor, which means you’ll give your tissue or organ to someone you don’t personally know but would like to help.
Organ donation has caused heated arguments across the globe because it has both advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more about them.
List of Pros of Organ Donation
1. It can help save lives.
Many kinds of illnesses can be resolved when the problematic tissue or organ is taken out and “replaced” with a healthy one. Heart valves, for example, can be donated to replace faulty ones and make the recipient’s heart function properly. Damaged corneas can be replaced with healthy ones to help restore the recipient’s vision.
2. It can help the donor’s life more meaningful.
There’s something quite uplifting and heartwarming about the thought that you are able to save a life with a bit of your tissue or a part of your organ. It’s a selfless, once-in-a-lifetime humanitarian act that will certainly add meaning to your existence.
3. It can ease the pain of losing a loved one.
Nothing can completely erase the deep sadness that people feel when their friend or family member passes away. However, their pain can be eased by the fact that a part of their loved one can be used to save the life of another person and that something good can come out of this tragic event.
List of Cons of Organ Donation
1. It comes with major health risks for the donor.
Organ donation typically involves surgery which, in itself, comes with a wide range of risks. Infections are on top of the list as well as hemorrhage, blood clots, and damage to the surrounding areas where the donated tissue or organ was removed.
2. It can cause complications in the recipient.
Organ donation isn’t a magical treatment that can instantly solve all the recipient’s illness. In fact, in many cases, it lead to a host of health problems. One of these is organ rejection, in which the recipient’s body treats the donated organ as a foreign object and attacks it. Several studies have also shown that patients who have received an organ are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, though doctors are not exactly sure why.
3. It can cause agony for loved ones.
Many deceased donors are kept on life support to ensure that the harvested organs will remain fresh as possible before they’re transferred to the recipient. This can be confusing, agonizing, and traumatizing for the donor’s family, particularly when their loved one is pulled off from life support.
Organ donation can bring several benefits but can also have a few drawbacks. Because of this, both donors and recipients should carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide if organ donation and transplant are the right choice for them.