The need for viable organs is never-ending. It is important that you not only become an organ donor, but that you also have a discussion with your loved ones, friends and family about organ donation and that you make your wishes very clear. Many viable organs fail to be donated due to family and significant other’s resistance. Many individuals are unaware of their family members’ wishes, so while it is a difficult discussion to have… it is an important one.
Interestingly, Spain is the world leader in organ donation—as they have taken the opposite approach from most in obtaining donor organs. Spain has a unique transplant law that presumes consent unless otherwise stated. What this means is that all viable organs are available for transplant unless an individual specifically states they do not want their organs donated; otherwise, they are automatically available. According to Dr. Rafael Matesanz, director of Spain’s National Transplant Organization, families always have the final say, but with the acceptance of the donor program and realization that donors do not just happen, Spain has provided an organization and professionalism to the process that is accepted throughout the country.
Spain’s deceased organ donation rate is 36 per million inhabitants as compared to 26 per million in the United States. Think of the lives that could be saved if we improved our organ donation system. Find out how you can be a donor today. Have a discussion with your family and friends and encourage them to become donors – you have the power to save a life!
Published in the Diabetes Wellness Newsletter October 2015 issue