The obvious pro of being an organ donor is that your death can help others live. I have no problem with this and believe it is a good thing. I myself would be willing to donate my organs upon my death, but having contracted hepatitis A from a co-worker over thirty years ago means I cannot donate organs or blood.
Many years ago, our state started putting an organ donor box on everyone’s driver’s license. If the box was checked, any emergency personnel tending to someone that died or was near death would know that you wished to donate your organs. Everyone I knew thought that this was a great idea. Or should I say almost everyone.
Before I contracted the hepatitis A, a physician I knew shocked me when he told me to never check the organ donor box. He explained that some doctors are so geared to organ harvesting and donations that they may not always do everything in their power to save someone that could possibly be saved. There may be a hasty tendency to prematurely declare someone dead just so they can get the organs while they are still fresh. I remember asking how often that occurs and he said not too often, but would I want to be one of those few. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided the next time I renewed my driver’s license, I would leave the organ donor box unchecked, but made sure my wife and family knew that I had no problems yielding up my organs once I was really dead.
All of this was brought to mind when I read the account of Stephen Thorpe from Leicester, England.