Seven Simple Things to Do in April to Celebrate National Donate Life Month

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Today, in the United States, more than 98,000 people are in need of an organ for transplant. Each day, about 77 people get that organ and a second chance at life, but 17 to 19 others die because they could not. In 2003, April was designated as National Donate Life Month to raise awareness of the need to promote the choice of organ donation and to honor those who have selflessly given of themselves.

There are many simple ways to be involved with National Donate Life Month, many of which do not require a time-consuming or expensive effort, but will mean a lot toward saving more lives every day.

1. Learn your state’s laws about donation. For example, in my home state of South Carolina, family consent is not required to carry out a resident’s decision to be an organ, eye, or tissue donation, as long as they are older than 18. Once a person in SC signs up through the South Carolina Donor Registry, next of kin cannot override the decision.

2. Discuss your decision with your family and friends. In the case that something happens before you are able to officially register to be an organ donation, if family and friends are aware of your choice for your body in the case of your death, they are more likely to comply with your wishes.

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3. Talk to your clergy or religious leader. Many people may also be concerned that their religious beliefs make them unable to donate organs or tissue. Research has found the majority of religions practiced in the US support organ, eye, and tissue donation and sees it as an act of love and generosity toward others. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, are often confused about organ donation, but according the National Headquarters for the religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses can donate as long as the donation was handled properly by removing all blood.

4. Encourage your workplace to become a member of “The Workplace Partnership for Life” campaign. One aim of the partnership is to promote an exchange of ideas to promote organ donation. If the company has a website, they can get a web banner to support Donate Life America.

5. Get your high school student involved. Decision Donation is a school program that has many materials to be used by both public and private educators to help teens learn early about organ donation.

6. Get free organ donation materials from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. A lapel pin can be worn to promote awareness of organ donation.

7. Reduce your risk for needing an organ for yourself or being denied as a donor. Eating right, exercising, and preventing or managing chronic health conditions will make it less likely that you will need an organ transplant and will maintain the health of your organs so they are in tip-top shape for someone else.

Read more about organ and tissue donation:
Organ Donations Decline but Need Rises
Chris Henry Donates Organs to Five
Jobs and Schwarzeneggar Team Up for Organ Donation
Americans Support Organ Donation but Few Follow Through

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Comments

Jehovah's Witnesses blood transfusion confusion Simple fact-The Bible does not prohibit Blood transfusions.If you are bleeding to death it is more dangerous to refuse a blood transfusions than to take one. Bloodless surgeries are great if they can be elective.1/3rd of all trauma deaths are from blood loss. Jehovah's Witnesses elders will investigate and disfellowship any Jehovah Witness who takes a blood transfusion,to say the issue is a 'personal conscience matter' is subterfuge to keep the Watchtower out of lawsuits.. Jehovah's Witnesses children die every year worldwide due to blood transfusion ban.Rank & file Jehovah's Witness are indoctrinated to be scared to death of blood FYI 1) JW's DO USE many parts aka 'fractions' aka components of blood,so if it's 'sacred' to God why the hypocritical contradiction flip-flop? 2) They USE blood collections that are donated by Red Cross and others but don't donate back,more hypocrisy. 3) The Watchtower promotes and praises bloodless elective surgeries,this is a great advancement indeed.BUT it's no good to me if I am bleeding to death from a car crash and lose much of my blood volume and need EMERGENCY blood transfusion. Remember the Jehovah's Witnesses use thousands and thousands of pints of blood donated by others.They use 60% of the blood volume as broken down "fractions" then go on Bible thumping rants about how dangerous and sinful blood transfusions are. ( JW do allow organ transplants which has more risk than whole blood transfusions so their arguments of disease transmission is bogus) Know this,the reason that JW refuse blood is because of their spin on the 3000 year old Biblical old testament,modern medicine will eventually make blood donations and transfusions a thing of the past.When this technology happens it won't vindicate the Jehovah's Witnesses and all the deaths that have occurred so far. The Watchtower's rules against blood transfusions will eventually be abolished (very gradually to reduce wrongful death lawsuit liability) even now most of the blood 'components' are allowed. --- Jehovah Witness blood policy reform site http://www.ajwrb.org/basics/abstain.shtml
Danny thank you for the Jehovah Witness clarification they do receive organ transplants,although at one point these and even vaccinations were a sin against Jehovah
True. It is not a religious conviction of Jehovah's Witnesses to refuse organ donations, as it is blood, though both carry the same risks. That's because our stand against blood transfusions has always been due to blood being sacred. (Though we spend much time debating it's medical risks because its an issue we're always faced with in our ongoing stand. Thank you for your fine article.
250,000 Jehovah's Witnesses have died since 1945 due to the No blood transfusion ban of "whole blood".You can't fool the general population of readers on this as we all hear about the deaths on the news all the time. .