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Organ Donation: Save Lives, Be a Hero

Updated on March 25, 2020
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Prachi has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When not writing, she helps people with web design and development.

About Organ Donation

Organ Donation is term given to the process in which a person signs an agreement that allows medical professionals to transplant his/her healthy organs and tissues into another person. The transplantation may take place after person’s death or even when he/she is alive. The person who donates organs and tissues is called as a donor. Registration for organ donation varies by country.

Myths about Organ Donation

  • If I register for organ donation, then doctors will not work hard to save me: Doctors are always focused on saving your life, if you have registered for organ donation, it will not matter to them.
  • They might sign my death certificate even when I would still have some chances to sustain: On contrary to this myth, people, who have participated in organ donation, are closely examined and given more tests before declaring them to be truly dead.
  • My religion opposes organ donation: Most of the religions are in favor of organ donation; if you have doubts consult you’re a senior member of your clergy.
  • Nobody would use my organs as I am too old to donate: The final decision of donating your organs depend on the strict medical tests and other certain criteria which do not include age factor. After your death, it is in doctors’ hands whether to transplant your organs or to not.
  • If I am unhealthy, no one will want my tissues or organs: The medical criteria define your health status. May be you are unhealthy, but it is possible that some of your organs and tissues are working and that can be donated. Most importantly, the final decision is made after your death whether to transplant your organs or to not.

Each of these organs and tissues can heal a life
Each of these organs and tissues can heal a life

Most common donated organs and tissues

  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Intestines
  • Lungs
  • Bones
  • Bone marrow
  • Skin
  • Corneas
  • Ligaments
  • Connective Tissues

Reasons to donate Organs

  • More than 1 million people really need them to live their life: Many people need kidney, heart, liver and pancreas and many other organs to live a normal life. Alike you, they also have friends, families and co-workers. They also want to live a healthy life and they have got nothing more than just to wait for those people who would donate organs for them.
  • There are no charges to register for organ donation: The organizations conducting registration for organ donation do not burden you with any hefty amount of money. In fact, they do not charge at all. It is totally free. The costs are taken care of by insurance company and organ recovery organizations.
  • What if, it is for your loved ones? : You never know what comes next. What if the next day, it is your own loved one who needs an organ to help them to sustain their living?
  • You can help people to walk again: Besides organs, you can also donate your tissues that will help them to run, dance and walk again. Many people donate tissues such as ligaments, bones, tendons and many other connective tissues. Imagine yourself, if you are asked to sit at one place and not allowed to move from that place at least for a day or two, how will you feel?

Religious Views on Organ Donation

Almost all the religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and many more strongly support Organ Donation and ask people to encourage future generation to donate their organs and tissues.

Organ Donation Process
Organ Donation Process

Organ Donation Process

Donated organ goes through several steps before final transplantation. The steps are as follows:

  1. Donor Detection: Person who has registered for organ donation goes through strict medical criteria before coming to the conclusion that his/her organ is useful for others. Pledged organs are also detected and tested several times before finally extracting them.
  2. Death Declaration: When the donor dies, they have to go through many medical tests before medical professionals finally declare them death. Comparatively, careful and long tests are conducted for those persons who pledged to donate an organ or a tissue rather than who did not.
  3. Donor Viability: If a living donor wants to donate an organ, then it is medically tested if he/she will be able to survive afterwards and not face any severe consequences that may ultimately result into his/her death.
  4. Donor Maintenance: When a living donor passes medical steps 1 and 2, then the relative body part is finally removed. In case of dead donor, if he/she passes steps 1, 2 and 3, then the part is extracted and the dead body is given back to the donor's family members.
  5. Family Interview: Donor's family is interviewed and relative questions are asked to them such as what they think about organ donation and about the member who has already donated an organ.
  6. Recovery: The donated organ is kept under high maintenance after recovery from the donor to keep its functioning stable.
  7. Distribution: Later on, the organs are distributed at the required places. It is to be kept in mind that persons who buy or sell organs are considered as criminals and may be put behind bars.
  8. Transplantation: Finally, the organ is transplanted into the person who need it.

Jon-Erik Hexum
Jon-Erik Hexum

Worldwide famous Indian celebrities who have pledged to donate organs

  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Jaya Bachchan
  • Madhavan
  • Amir Khan
  • Salman Khan
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
  • Farah Khan
  • Anil Kumble
  • Navjot Singh Sidhu
  • Vinod Kambli
  • Gautam Gambhir

International celebrities who have donated their organs

Organ Donated
To Whom
Dick Cass
Friend from law school
While Living
Natasha Richardson
Heart, Liver, Kidneys
After Death
Jake Garn
While Living
Jon-Erik Hexum
Heart, Kidneys, Cornea, Skin
36 year old man (heart), 5 year old boy (kidney), 43 year old woman (kidney), 66 year old man (cornea), young girl (cornea), 3 year old boy (skin)
After Death
Charles Cullen
Brother of his former girlfriend
While Living
Virginia Postrel
While Living
Dr. Rajkumar
After Death
Oscar Robertson
While Living
Neda Agha-Soltan
Various organs
After Death
Angélico Vieira
Pancreas, Liver, Kidneys
After Death
Zell Kravinsky
African-American stranger
While Living
Everson Walls
While Living
Carlo Gnocchi
Two Blind Children
Just Before Death
Lori Palatnik
While Living

International celebrities who have donated their organs. Some of them donated organs while living and some of them after death


Countries with the highest organ donation rates

  • Spain
  • Croatia
  • Malta
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • United States
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Latvia
  • Belarus

Countries with the lowest organ donation rates

  • Ukraine
  • Philippines
  • China
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Russia
  • Denmark
  • Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore

Some Facts about Organ Donation

  • Each year, around 7,000 people die in need of an organ.
  • More than 6,000 transplants are performed each year from living donors.
  • One donor is capable of saving lives of upto 10 people.
  • More than 125,000 people in United States (US) are need of organ transplants.
  • Around 18 people die every day in United States due to lack of supply of organs and tissues.
  • Buying or selling organs or tissues in United States is against the law.
  • Almost every year, more than millions of people require organs or tissues transplant across the world.



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