If you want to become an organ donor, you may think this process if very simple. Most drivers’ licenses allow the option of filling out a donor card. The trouble is that if you die, your family doesn’t have to respect your wishes. It’s important to take a few more steps to register for organ donation so that you can make sure you will benefit others by your death.
One thing you should do if you want to become an organ donor is to discuss this desire with your family or the person who would make decisions for you in the event of your death, like a spouse. Be sure to find out how anyone involved would interpret your wishes. If you note that people responsible for you would be unlikely to allow organ donation, you can take steps to ensure you can still donate your organs.
First, you can write a letter testifying your desire to be a donor and keep this letter with you at all times. If you want a stronger guarantee, find a member of your family or a close responsible friend to whom you can assign durable power of attorney. For a small fee, you can work with a lawyer to prepare this document and appoint a person who you know will respect your wish to become an organ donor. Follow state and/or country laws regarding requirements for this.
Some people cannot make choices about whether they can become an organ donor. Usually people who are not legal adults don’t have any say in this matter. If you’re a teen and you feel strongly about organ donation, it’s time for a discussion with your parents or guardians.
Arm yourself with facts about the benefits of organ donation and be sure to know the common myths or untruths about donations that often stop people from allowing organ harvesting. There are many Internet sites dedicated to giving out accurate information, and you may want to do some research to present a clear and factual argument to convince parents. Once you’re an adult, you can sign donor cards and discuss this issue with parents, but note that without a durable power of attorney, next of kin can still override your desire.
There are many ways to donate needed body fluids or parts before end of life. Some people donate kidneys to family members or even to strangers. Others donate blood, plasma, or platelets on a regular basis. Women may have egg harvesting done to help infertile women, and men can donate sperm. Most people choose to donate at end of life to leave the world having made a difference. There is no need to wait when simple things like blood donation can make a difference today.