Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Save a Life

I read an article recently in my local newspaper about New Jersey ranking the lowest in registered organ donors in the country. I was surprised by this at first, then I became curious. Why are we last?

I suppose I could start by asking myself that question since I'm not a registered donor. When I couldn't come up with an answer after 10 minutes, I asked hubs. He read a theory once that said "blue" states often look to the government to take care of problems and fix things and, perhaps, that applied to this situation as well. Maybe, but aren't there "bluer" states than NJ out there? Why are we last?

I took it upon myself to perform my own personal study. I decided to ask friends and family if they were registered organ donors. I started, where else? Facebook. I put the question out there and within 1 hour, I had 5 organ donors. Maybe those who weren't donors were ashamed to say so. Again, I wonder why?

Maybe it has something to do with trust. You're in an accident. The EMTs arrive. You're seriously injured and require immediate medical assistance. They dig up your identification and find out you're an organ donor. Do they rush to get you the assistance you need? Do they stop for a cup of coffee on the way to the hospital? You get to the hospital and are on life support. Do they start harvesting your organs before you're actually "dead?"

These are all valid questions and concerns. Or are they? Aren't there rules EMTs, doctors, nurses follow? Aren't there laws about this sort of thing? If you're critically wounded, you're not going to use your organs anyway. You're critical. This is about saving someone else. About being selfless. About helping your fellow human being. I'd hate to think it was a Jersey thing. It's a people thing.

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