Organ Donation & Transplantation
Undeniably, most people go through their lives without experiencing how it feels to have a breakdown of the major body organs. The heart is always pumping blood to all parts of the body, the lungs always plays a vital role in breathing, while on the other hand, the kidney and the liver are always eradicating waste products from the body system. Unfortunately the, a good number of individuals are not in a position to handle even the simplest assignment due to a breakdown of one of the major organs. For this people to continue living, they will need to have such organ changed. It is very worrying to note that most of these individuals die due to lack of new organs. Moreover, the number of those in the waiting register for organs keeps on rising mainly because less people are ready to donate so as to satisfy the ever increasing demand. In this context, organ donation is used to refer to the abstraction of the organs of an individual after death purposely to resettle them into another individual, (Laura, 2009). Besides, in certain circumstances a part of an organ of a living person may be removed from a living person and then transplanted to a suffering individual, although it only in very rare cases. This particular will be limited to analysis of the pros of organ donation and the transplantation process.
Since the discovery of the science of organ transplantation, debates over the same issue have emerged. Proponents of organ donation assert that this science has many benefits but the most crucial is that it saves life. Actually, statistics indicate that organ donation helps to save approximately up to sixty individuals. On the other hand, those who are against organ donation argue that organ donation is no different from human cloning technology which has proved to be dangerous due to a number of reasons. Organs that can be yielded from a deed individual include: lungs, kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, as well as the intestines. At this point, it is important to differentiate organ donation from tissue donation as the two seem to be similar. The term “tissue donation” is used to refer the harvesting of corneas, heart valves, veins, bones and bone marrow, as well as the skin.
One of the most important advantages of organ donation is that it gives gift of life. Indeed, nothing can indicate a selfless act from a human being as preserving or rather saving the life of a person. Organ donation to some people is one of such act which can make that possible. Through research and advanced technology, doctors have found that there is a possibility of yielding organs from a dying individual so as to transplant these organs to individuals whose organs have failed. As such, it is possible to save the life of more than a single individual as well as improving the lifes of several others, (Reg, 2007). This is seen to be a gift of life to the recipient from the donor. Actually, it can be said to be a second chance to live. To be more precise, through organ donation those who could not see can be able to see, while those who were to die for instance from heart failure have a chance of surviving.
The second pro of organ donation is the improvement of the quality of life. Consider a scenario in which, due to for instance kidney failure, an individual is forced to rely on machines to support his/her life. Not unless transplantation of the affected organ is done, the individual’s life will continue depending on these machines. Thus, it becomes psychologically challenging to both the family members as well as the patient, (Reg, 2007). Organ donation will help in improving the quality of life of both the family members and the patient, in the sense that patient is given a chance to go back to a normal lifestyle. The life of the patient will no more be depending on supporting machines as the individual can be able to support himself/herself without any complications. This is could also be good news to the society at large, due to the fact that the individual will take his/her position in the society as far as both economic and social productivity is concerned.
Another advantage of organ donation is that it helps the family of the deceased in the grieving process. It has been observed that in most cases, the families who decide to permit the donation of organs of a family member who has died find it easy to recover from the pain caused by this death. By assisting somebody who is in need of an organ, it boosts the morale of the members of the family of the deceased, (Saul & Lowe, 2002). Although they have lost a loved one, they could have made something constructive out of something that was tragic; meaning that the death of their loved one was not in vain. Precisely, the feeling that a certain organ such as the heart or corneas of death will assist another person to live or see can be very encouraging and comforting. Besides, it marks the beginning of a cordial relationship of both families of the donor and the recipient.
The fourth pro of organ donation is that it is an indicator of being socially responsible. Arguably, most people feel that they are socially obligated to help others to survive or enjoy a normal life. Although a section of religious communities do not advocate for organ donation, a bigger section of these communities assert that if organ donation can be vital in saving life, then it should be advocated for, (Laura, 2009). As such organ donation enhances positive moral feelings of the donors mainly because the donor feels as though to have done what is considered as being “right”. Additionally, the other society members starts to look at the donors differently; as they are aware of the enormity such a kind of gift. Undeniably, there are many risks that are involved in the entire process. Therefore, those who go through the process of organ donation are filled with an immense sense moral worthiness on top of being accorded absolute appreciation from their recipients. In many circumstances, this has been the beginning of a lasting affiliation between the recipient and the donor.
Another advantage of organ donation comes arises from the scientific perspective. Saul & Lowe (2002) assert that, through the donation of organs, medical research has been improved significantly which indirectly improves as well as saves lives. The United States Organ and Tissue Transplantation Department assert that donation of organs, tissues, or remains of the death to any institute of research, university or medical facility is very vital for doctors and scientists to carry out research on certain ailments and how they affect the body of human beings. In the past, through this research cures and treatments for medical states which had not been discovered previously have been introduced.
In terms cost, organ donation relatively reduces the cost that is incurred in medical care. Studies have shown that though it might be expensive in the transplantation process, organ donation is relatively economical in the long run as compared to the other medical treatments, (Reg, 2007). Take an example of kidney failure which requires medication almost for the entire life of a patient if the kidney is not changed or rather transplanted. The cost of acquiring medication for kidney failure in the long run could be much more than expected. However, kidney transport substitutes the need to undertake dialysis process from time to time; hence, leading to cost reduction.
According to Saul & Lowe (2002), the procedure through the donor’s organ is transferred to the body of the recipient is referred to as organ transplantation. Purposely, this procedure is aimed at replacing the recipients damaged or absent organ. It should be noted that organ transplantation is the most challenging and complex medical procedures in the field of medicine. For transplantation to be undertaken, it must be ensured that the recipient tissues match the donor so as to reduce chances of transplant rejection. There are different types of organ transplantation. The first type is autograft transplant, which involves the transplantation of tissue to the same individual. Mostly, it is usually done using tissue that can redevelop, or surplus tissue, (Laura, 2009). The second type is allograft, which involves a transplant of tissue or organs between two different members but of the same species. The third type is isograft, which involves transplanting of tissue or organ between two genetically identical individuals, for instance identical twins. The last type is the xenograft, which involves transplantation of tissues or organ between two different species.
Finally, since its discovery organ donation and transplantation has proved to be very beneficial to most people. One of the advantages of organ donation is saving life. Organ donation is considered as a selfless act that a human being can ever do. A single donor can save the life of one individual and better the life of many more. The second advantage is that it helps the family in the grieving process. Moreover, it is implies social responsibility on the part of the individual who offer to be donors. Lastly, organ donation and transplantation is economical in comparison to the medical care for patients with failed or rather damaged organs. Most importantly, it should be noted that one can decide to be a live donor or a deceased donor. A live donor can donate an organ or tissue before death while on the other hand; a deceased donor can only donate at the point of death. Organ transplantation involves the transfer of organs and tissue from the donor to the recipient, (Saul & Lowe, 2002). Before transplantation, the doctors have to ensure that the donor and the recipient are compatible so as to avoid organ rejection after the transplant. Lastly, there are different types of organ transplant, namely: allograft, isograft, autograft, and xenograft.
Laura, K. E. (2009). Organ Donation. Boston: Greenhaven Press.
Reg, G. (2007). The Gift that Heals: Stories of Hope, Renewal and Transformation Through
Organ and Tissue Donation. New York: AuthorHouse. Retrieved on 23rd April 2011 from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=EjNrHL1XLeIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Saul, P. & Lowe, M. (2002). Death, Dying and Donation: Organ Transplantation and the
Diagnosis of Death. J Med Ethics