Donate Your Organs

My brother used to have a “Don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here” bumper sticker on his car. I respected his decision, but I didn’t agree with it. Something about the idea squicked me.

This was before I’d cemented my atheist beliefs and come to terms with the likelihood that there is no afterlife. I was young. I had naive questions, like “we don’t know what happens when we die, what if we do need our livers?”. I think a part of me was secretly hoping the vikings were right, and after my passing I’d have an eternity of drinking and feasting to look forward to.

That all changed, however, in my early twenties. My best friend went into hospital, needing open heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve. The plan was to use an artificial, mechanical valve that would do the job, but for a variety of reasons would be sub-standard. It would need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, for a start, and could require him to take anticoagulant medication and have monthly blood tests. But, if that was the cost of saving his life, so be it. He was prepared for it, as best as anyone could be.

At the last minute, though, he got some great news: a donor heart valve had become available! The human valve was transplanted into him, and ever since he’s been a picture of health. Because of some dead stranger’s gift, he can live like everyone else. Organ donation changed his life.

The next day I went and signed up to be an organ donor. I don’t know if there’s an afterlife, but if there is I’m fairly certain we don’t need our corporeal bodies in it. What I DO know, though, is that there’s a urgent need for organ transplants. Mark Colvin, host of ABC radio’s PM news and current affairs program, wrote about it brilliantly on The Drum today. You can’t help be moved by reading it, and I hope you will click here and sign up to be an organ donor.

2 thoughts on “Donate Your Organs

  1. Yes, go organ donation. 🙂 My main gripe is that your relatives can over rule your wishes anyway, which is a really stupid loop hole. I do however like that you can put yout hand up for organ donation when you renew your license.btw – I don't think you're friend got the good news at the last minute. I recall that he woke up and found out the news post operation.

  2. Cheers David. I completely agree – your family doesn't own your organs, it shouldn't be up to them to overrule your wishes! This is why I strongly believe everyone should discuss their wishes with their family. Mark Colvin's article is a great way to get conversation started, I think – I emailed it to all my family, and told them my wishes.And you could be right, I think maybe I heard the good news at the last minute, not my friend. It was a while ago. Point is, it was good news!

Comments are closed.