7 Reasons Not To Be An Organ Donor

7 Reasons Not To Be An Organ Donor

Actually, there aren't any.

Absolutely none.

Recently, I became an organ donor, and I was shocked at how easy it was. All I had to do was make a check mark on a form at the DMV. The simplicity of a decision that could potentially save the life of another human being is outstanding. Do you want to know what shocked me even more, though? The deficiency of organ donors. According to Donate Life America, 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, but only 30 percent have taken the steps to become one. I constantly see people sharing and praising stories of kids given a second chance at life due to organ donations.

If so many people share these articles and pride themselves on being empathetic and wanting to help others, why do we have such a shortage of organ donors?

Don't take my word for it, let's look at the stats.

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human services, there are 121,347 people waiting for organs; 121,347 families that are counting the days. Standing by the phone in hopes of it ringing. Yet, in the past year, there were only 28,000 organ transplants and currently, there were only 15,000 new donors from the past.

If that's not enough to open up your eyes, just know that every 10 minutes, a name is added to that list. While an average of 79 people receive organ transplants a day, 22 people die waiting for an organ that never comes; 22 people don't get a second chance at life.

These statistics might only sound like a bunch of numbers I am spewing at you but let me put them into perspective. Every single one of those 22 people that die every day is a mom, a teacher, a doctor, a 3rd grader, a lover, a human. They are not just a number. Every single one of them has a family, has goals, has feelings and has lost a chance.

SEE ALSO: To The Organ Donor Who Will Save My Life

Why shouldn't you be an organ donor?

1. I want to have an open casket funeral, and I can't if organ donation mutilates my body.

Actually, organ donation doesn't impede you from having an open-casket funeral. Your organs/tissues are removed through a clean surgical procedure, and you are sewn back up. After your body is clothed for the ceremony, there are no signs of organ donation. Even if you decide to donate your bones, rods are inserted into their place.

2. If doctors know that I am an organ donor, they won't try to save my life as hard.

This is absolutely ridiculous. A doctor's top priority will always be the life of their patient. They will put in 110 percent their effort to keep you alive. The donor program isn't even notified until death is proven and declared.

3. Doctors might not be 100 percent sure that I am dead.

According to the Center for Organ Recovery and Education(CORE), brain death is pronounced when there is a lack of blood and oxygen flow to the brain. It is "the medical, legal and moral determination of death." There is no recovery from this. It is not the same as a coma. Furthermore, organ donors are actually given more tests after death over a period of time to verify death than a normal person.

4. I'm too sick for organ donation. My organs wouldn't be useful.

Don't pre-disqualify yourself. Doctors have tests they run to make sure the organs they utilize are safe and healthy. While some of your organs might not meet these standards, others could.

5. My family would be charged with the costs of the organ transplant.

Your family would only have to pay for the medical costs associated with any procedure done before your death. Organ donation costs are fully covered.

6. Organ donation is against my religion.

Actually, according to CORE, all major religions view organ donation as a final act of love through sacrifice.

7. I don't want my organs going to somebody that destroyed their own.

While organ donations do help people suffering from addiction by letting them correct their mistakes, "less than 5 percent of people awaiting transplant have destroyed their organ through substance abuse and they must achieve and sustain sobriety before they can be listed for transplant (Center for Organ Recovery and Education)."

If all these reasons are still not enough to convince you to make this decision, know this:

By becoming an organ donor, you could save the life of not just one person but of 50. You could be the reason a father is able to dance with his daughter at her wedding. You could be the reason a 7-year-old girl is able to see the colors of a sprouting bundle of flowers on a fresh spring day.

You could be the reason a mom is writing out invitations for her son's eighth birthday party instead of making funeral arrangements. You could be the reason that newly married couple ends up sitting around a fire on Christmas morning with their six grandchildren.

You could be the reason love strengthens, new life is born, accomplishments are made and society improves. If anything, you could be the hope restored in the broken hearts and minds of the family and person receiving that organ. You could be that second chance, that silver lining, that miracle.

We glorify the idea of a miracle but here we have the opportunity to make them actually happen. All this can be done by you simply taking an hour of your time to visit this website and take the steps necessary to register as a donor. If you live in New York State, you can register online right now, right here.

Save a life.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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8 Ways To Be More Mindful Of What You Say

Think before you speak.

It may not seem like it, but what you say can have a lasting impact on others. Quite frankly, what you say may also not be used correctly. Often times, we belittle mental disorders and mental illnesses without even thinking about it. It is so hurtful and so harmful. It needs to stop.

What is said: "Wow, that girl is so anorexic."

What is wrong with that: People come in all shapes and sizes and all of them are beautiful. You cannot assume that someone has an eating disorder based on their physical appearance.

What is said: "The professor did not curve the test? He is so retarded."

What is wrong with that: It is not okay to use a mental disability as an insult because a mental disability is not something to be ashamed of.

What is said: "That is so gay."

What is wrong with that: Gay is not an insult. People are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc. Using sexual orientation out of context as an insult is just adding to the stigma.

What is said: "Yeah so Derek died in 'Grey's Anatomy' last night and it was just so depressing."

What is wrong with this: Depression is a disease, not a feeling. You may be sad or upset or angry, but that does not necessarily mean you are depressed. Depression is not a short-lived feeling.

What is said: "That test was so hard, I want to kill myself."

What is wrong with this: Suicide is not something to be taken lightly. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death. When people joke about suicide, it just belittles the fact that so many people attempt to and die by suicide.

What is said: "I'm so OCD about my planner."

What is wrong with this: OCD is not just being neat and orderly. It stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. People lose hours and days and weeks of their lives performing rituals and obeying the compulsions because they NEED to.

What is said: "I cannot get a read on that chick, she is so bipolar.

What is wrong with this: Bipolar is a serious illness with very high manic episodes and very low depressive ones. It is not just someone being happy one second and sad the next; that is a mood swing.

What is said: “What is wrong with that psycho?”

What is wrong with this: Something better would be saying they are “acting irrationally” which, no, is not the same as being psychotic. Psychosis is full of delusions, hallucinations, angry outbursts, extreme negative mood swings, etc.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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How Good Is 'The Good Doctor?'

Some see a disability, others see the human beneath.

Many have seen, if not heard of ABC's new show "The Good Doctor," which shares a story about Dr. Shaun Murphy and his journey as a doctor and individual. Dr. Murphy is unique in his own right; being diagnosed with both Autism--rather the higher functioning version of Aspergers and Savant syndrome.

Personally, I believe, especially in today's world, that mental health is often spared from many conversations; yet when we stop to reflect, we realize how important our mental health is in order to live a better life. This is definitely a show to help us as a society to get there.

The show brings to light common aspects that are often overlooked, such as prejudices, mental health, and themes like honesty, determination to beat criticism, and real-life situations among many others with a bit of comic relief to pacify the mood.

For starters, the Encyclopedia of Children's Health defines the psychopathology as occurring "when a person with below normal intelligence displays a special talent or ability in a specific area." Whereas the same source defines Autism as "a severely incapacitating developmental disorder of brain function characterized by three major types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests;" yet, Dr. Murphy is even more of a special case as he fits the description as "autistic savant."

It may seem oxymoronic, being considered a higher-functioning autistic while also being a savant, yet the Autism Research Institute states that the abnormality "refers to individuals with autism who have extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons," which is indeed applied to the character within the show.

Moreover, savant skills are not confined entirely to the autistic community, and neither are all autistic individuals savants. A 1978 article in Psychology Today, written by Dr. Bernard Rimland, coined the more appropriate term 'autistic savant,' as the contemporary label away from the French meaning of an unlearned idiot; benefitting the stigmatized and those outside looking towards the nature of the syndrome as a whole.

Especially with an estimated prevalence of savant abilities within autistic individuals being 10%, while prevalence within the non-autistic community, in addition to those with mental retardation (cognitively impaired), is less than one percent.

Moreover, the most notable forms of savant ability involve mathematical calculations, memory feats, artistic abilities, and musical abilities. Out of these, Dr. Murphy exhibits memory feats; where he instantaneously recalls parts of the human anatomy; say the heart's ventricles and circuitous pathways, and thinks of a possible solution.

It is still unknown as to why some autistic individuals possess savant abilities, yet there are innumerable theories, and no evidence to prove the hypotheses right or wrong.

For example, Dr. Rimland deems that these individuals possess surprising concentration abilities and can focus their complete attention on specific areas of interest. To put it plainly, psychological researchers feel as though memory and cognition will reach a complete understanding when the autistic savant phenomena is no longer a mystery.

As a whole, the show can be referenced to "Rain Man," the original known representation of an "autistic savant," and since the 1988 release of the film the notion of how these individuals are wired has sparked many interests. With that in mind, it is easier to see the structure of the show and how the inner workings of each episode affect the characters, and viewers alike.

The main aspect I pull from this show is that Dr. Murphy is seen as somebody who is different compared to the preliminary and inducted doctors and still combats his personal demons all the while.

The pilot episode introduces the Dr. Murphy in an airport--eventually saving a child's life and attempts to get into St. Barnaba's Hospital in San Jose, California once he arrived. His caretaker Dr. Glassman vouches that he is capable and aside from his disabilities, the person inside deserves a chance.

Much like the prejudices of cognitive health; which is a rather unprecedented topic, gender, and racial biases exist that have other characters learn a lesson as well and it is key to see how it influences the psyche of those involved.

As the show proceeded and developed further, we see more growth and influence from his surroundings: both on an intrapersonal and interpersonal level. The scars from his abusive father and death of his brother still have a say in his life, which is another reason as to why he tries hard and battles his autistic tendencies (as best as autistically possible) to overcome his downfalls.

Finally, by the time the mid-season finale rolled around, it's interesting to see how much momentum Dr. Murphy has gained; the impact he's had on patients, colleagues, even a friend that lives in his apartment building. This episode truly hit home as a patient (a haughty professional gamer named Bobby) was required to get a tendon in his arm operated on; which freed the patient's mindset that all must go on, regardless of the pain.

Another problem resulted from a solution and the next agenda was operating on his brain-stem to rid of existing cancer; resulting in paralysis on his left side. Aside from that Dr. Murphy has received emotional support through his many conversations with Bobby and even came to the conclusion that nobody has the authority in saying what he, as an autistic, and an individual is capable of doing.

Bobby has been the only character to be truly empowering his Shaun's eyes; which stems from Bobby's own denial of accepting what he cannot control and choosing to see the glass half full. Shaun takes everything he's experienced thus far, including his conversations with Bobby to Dr. Glassman where he blatantly declared that psychiatrist appointments are not what he wants and that his own decisions should be weighed with a bit more respect.

As much of a “savant” Shaun is, it is apparent that his social skills are lacking, so picture being under the microscope on a constant trip of approval constantly trying to prove your worth. Then in one instant, a patient, that drops in sees the potential and the struggle that others refuse to take the time to acknowledge and respect.

In total, the show is a must-watch and you will do justice from viewing it yourself. As a takeaway: think of all we experience in our lives, the pros, and cons. Multiply that with being on the spectrum and held at arm's length in terms of being deemed inadequate and subjugated with a label that reads psychopathology and dependency creeping up on all fronts.

Cover Image Credit: ABC

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