901 Attorney - February 2020

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February 2020

A Life-Changing Decision How Becoming an Organ Donor Saves Lives

measures increasing every year, but the truth is that each donor can make a huge difference. According to Seattle Children’s Hospital, one donor can impact the lives of eight people. They continue, saying, “To give an idea of the impact of organ donors, in 2014, there were 29,532 transplants in the U.S. from just 14,412 donors.” It’s incredible to think about how lives would be saved if our population was more committed to organ donation. There are several methods to become a donor. The most well-known is when you get your first driver’s license or renew your existing license. A DMV employee will ask you whether or not you want to be an organ donor, or you may have that option when renewing online. If you say yes, the state indicates your decision on your license and sends that information to the state registry. Someone may also sign up directly with the state’s organ donor registry, which can be done online. Once you’ve signed up and registered as an organ donor, it’s essential that your important documents — such as your estate plan — reflect that choice. The best way to ensure that the people in your life understand your wishes is to simply have a conversation with them. These difficult discussions are crucial because they will save your loved ones a lot of heartache and confusion later. When they are left to guess

Throughout my life, I’ve always appreciated organ donation. In fact, I am not only an organ donor but also part of the bone marrow registry. Sometimes I find myself looking out for an email or call that will let me know I can help someone who desperately needs my bone marrow. I would like to continue helping others, and possibly even save a life, after my time is up. With Valentine’s Day on everyone’s minds this month, I can’t help but ponder the significance of organ donation. I was recently posed with the question, “What do you put your heart into?”, and I couldn’t imagine a more significant or literal answer than being an organ donor. This program is essential for tens of thousands of people across the world, but organ donations are becoming more and more scarce. This is largely due to an increase in vehicle technology. As cars become smarter and safer with built-in technologies that help drivers avoid collisions, there’s naturally going to be a shortage of organs available. While that is a step in the right direction, the need for donors will also increase as our population continues to grow. People may think that their choice to become an organ donor is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, especially with safety

what you would have wanted, it leaves them in a tough position. Having a heart-to-heart talk will let them know exactly what your feelings are and will allow you to hear what they’re feeling too. As a donor, I spoke to my wife about my choice, and I know her wishes as well. Through that conversation, we both understood each other and felt better knowing where the other stands. I feel the best way to decide whether or not to become an organ donor is to do a little research. If you or someone you know wants to learn more or register as a donor, I recommend visiting OrganDonor.gov.

“To give an idea of the impact of organ donors, in 2014, there were 29,532 transplants in the U.S. from just 14,412 donors.”

-David McLaughlin

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