Organ Donation Is a Controversial

That is especially true because in the vast majority of cases, prospective organ donors are younger than their surviving family members since only organs from relatively young people are suitable for use as transplant organs. However, those family members who do provide consent to harvest their loved ones organs invariably come to regard that choice as something that gives meaning to the untimely deaths of their loved ones. In many cases, the gratitude expressed by the recipients and their families helps the grieving families overcome their own tragedy of loss. Ultimately, proper training and sensitivity of the medical personnel responsible for approaching grieving family members can mitigate the potential harm to those families associated with the request.

The other principal objection to organ donation is the fear that life-saving procedures might be terminated prematurely on accident victims whose drivers licenses designate them as organ donors. Naturally, to the extent that possibility actually materializes, that is a very valid concern. In fact, it is a risk, albeit a relatively small one, because medical errors do occur in every aspect of medicine including the assessment of grievously injured accident victims. From the perspective of self preservation and self-interest, the fear of being designated an organ donor instead of a patient is a very legitimate concern.

However, it is likely that proper training of emergency medical technicians and other first responders can all but eliminate this risk to the victims of accidents who consent to be organ donors. Furthermore, that particular issue does not apply at all to situations where the prospective donor is identified as being clinically dead by experienced physicians in hospitals instead of by less trained medical personnel on the roadside scene of accidents.


Organ donation offers a viable way of saving the lives of thousands of patients whose own organs cannot support their lives. In that respect, it is a valuable procedure that makes beneficial use of a resource that would otherwise go to waste without benefiting anybody. That is not to say the practice is without potential criticism. Specifically, the prospect of approaching loved ones of potential organ donors for consent during their hour of greatest sorrow is, at best, a very delicate situation. The possibility of error in the assessment of accident victims also raises a legitimate concern. However, it is likely that proper training in both of those areas can sufficiently address those concerns to make organ donation worth the effort and worth the very small risk of harm to all stakeholders involved..

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