Let your organs save lives instead of rot

Why everyone must be an organ donor


Shriya Vanparia

According to the American Transplant Organization, nearly 114,000 patients are waiting for an organ in the United States. The Sidekick senior staff writer Nicolas Reyes argues the importance of organ donation. Graphic by Shriya Vanparia.

Nicolas Reyes, Staff Writer

Their loved one died, but mine did not have to. They chose to leave my grandpa out in the cold.

The immediate family of the deceased had promised they would donate the organs of their fallen loved one. But as more family members decided to interject, they decided to recant their vows.

I do not know if it was apathy or ignorance that pulled their strings, but I know that for many more months, my grandpa’s cancerous liver continued to tighten its grip on his life.   

Though my grandpa was lucky to find another donor, it was not enough. For a year, my family believed he was cured, only for us to discover his cancer had been insidious until it had gained too much strength to be fought.

He lost weight rapidly. His glowing eyes began to dim. And then my grandpa died.

I cannot help but wonder what would have happened had the potential donor’s family decided to put her organs to use instead of leaving them to decompose in a vain casket. 

Anyone physically capable of being an organ donor should be; there is absolutely no excuse not to be.

If the deceased had been a registered organ donor, her family would not have been able to take such a life changing u-turn in taking back their promise to donate. My grandpa could still be alive. 

One donor alone is capable of saving eight lives, improving the lives of 60 more and correcting the eyesight of two. The family of Taylor Storch alone, a former Coppell Middle School East student, saved five lives when they donated her organs, so why are only 38% of American young adults willing to donate?

Some refuse to donate for the same reason as the family previously described: the belief of preserving body integrity. Though sects of religious communities rebuff the idea of modifying the body, there is nothing unethical about donation. This is a statement prominent religious leaders from all the major belief systems have affirmed. 

“Organ donation is not only an act of social responsibility, but also an expression of the universal fraternity which binds all men and women together,” Pope Francis said

Though the Vatican supports transplants, Catholics are still less likely to approve of organ donation

Religion should not be an excuse to deny someone the chance to live. A common theme among the world’s religions is the spirit of giving, and there is nothing that screams gluttony more than hoarding organs that no longer are of use to the owner. With religious leaders pushing their followers to support the transplanting process, few people are in the room to claim their religion is inhibiting them from participating. 

The religious excuse the family of my grandfather’s potential donor presented was ludicrous; their religion promotes it. 

A conspiracy theory saying doctors put forth less effort into saving the lives of registered organ donors is also a leading factor in low levels of donations. However, this conspiracy could not be further from the truth. 

The Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) has absolutely no role in any hospital procedures until a body is declared brain dead. Doctors from around the nation have adamantly stated being a registered donor has no effect on treatments. This theory is an insult to the work doctors pour themselves into. 

Fighting these low levels of donation is easy; paperwork should never be the reason someone is denied a transplant. One can easily register while at the Department of Motor Vehicles. In fact, teenagers renewing their license at the age of 18 are posed with the question of whether they would like to be a donor while there. Signing up is also facilitated by the fact it can be done online.

There are almost 114,000 people in the United States waiting on someone to give them the ability to continue to enjoy life, a gift that costs nothing to the giver. 

My grandpa died because a family wanted the satisfaction of knowing that life-saving organs were feeding worms. Do not let your body be wasted; do not be the reason a grandson’s time with the person who understood him most is cut short. 


Follow Nicolas (@nico_reyes19) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.