Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Be an organ donor or die! (and then, be an organ donor anyway)

I read a news article yesterday that included two points that annoyed me for different reasons. The article concerned the impact of fiction TV on people registering as organ donors.

1: "Surveys Morgan and others have conducted confirm that people very often believe that what happens on their favorite TV show is real, especially medical and crime dramas."

This just makes me want to go up to people and hit them in the head with a stick and say "wake up!" For pity's sake, how can people not realize? Even on the shows which stick to mostly realistic legal or medical issues, they still, very very obviously, have to crank them all up to ridiculously unlikely levels for the sake of drama and entertainment. All "realistic" means is that the events depicted are plausible; they could happen. They are still fantastically unlikely! How can anyone not realize that?

2: "Fewer than 40 percent of Americans have signed organ donor cards and only about half of their families consent to the donation of a loved one's organs. 'If everyone who was eligible to donate did donate, we could nearly wipe out the entire transplant waiting list,' Morgan said."

It's bad enough to know that people who have a full life ahead of them are dying, right now, while you read this, because they can't get the organs they need. It's ridiculous that people with perfectly good organs that they have no use for anymore are not saving those people's lives at no cost whatsoever to themselves. Particularly considering we could end the problem right now if we all just did it. If you haven't signed up as an organ donor, what the hell are you waiting for?

But what really burns my bottom is the idea that people who have signed up still don't get their organs used because their idiotic families override their wishes. Mark my words, if there's an afterlife, and I find out my organs weren't used, someone is going to regret it. In fact, I'm thinking of setting up a trust fund that will deputize some attorney to arrange for my family to be haunted after my death if my organs are not put to good use, in case there isn't an afterlife.

Donate your organs. Don't think of it as giving up your organs to keep someone else alive. Think of it as someone else giving up their whole body to keep one of your organs alive.

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