Thursday, 1 March 2012

Organ Donation: my views

 Lately there has been alot about organ donation around (which is good) but I feel the need
 to write about one aspect of it that I don't agree with that I have seen happening.. It took me quite a few years to decide to finally join the organ donation registar, it was something I was thinking about since I was 16 believe it or not, but I only actually joined aged 20.  Why did it take 4 years for me to decide about something that only takes about 7 minutes to actually do?  Well I wasn't sure where I stood on it is the honest answer.  Truth be known I have conflicting views of organ donation, I myself have never thought getting a lung transplant is something I want when the time comes, now this may change once I reach that stage of being very ill ( I don't know) but even at my very illest I've never thought it would be something I would want.. To describe exactly why is difficult because it's very complex and  I'm not even sure people would understand my views.. I'm the type of person that believes everything happens for a reason; I don't believe in coincidences, I feel this is only our first life and that there is something else (maybe even better) beyond it.  To cut a long story short I feel when my time is up it's up.. I obviously intend to live my life to the full until that day, but once it comes I don't think I will want to extend it.  I feel horrible writing this because I know that means I will have to leave behind my family, partner and friends, but that's just how I feel.  There will only ever be this one of me and once that's gone it's gone. Now these are my views and I know people will probably think "ah there is no other life beyond this" or "the world is full of coincidences you idiot", and you know what maybe they are right, I have no idea, I don't claim to have the grand plan of life.  All I know is what I  believe, my views, I don't ask that other people share these views, but they are mine and I am entitled to them, no matter what other people think or feel I have that right.

 Now, here's where it gets complex.. After 4 years of thinking about it seriously, I decided to join the organ donation registar.. Because even though I don't personally want a transplant in the future and it isn't for me, that doesn't mean I'm going to deny someone else in the future of having  extra years.  I have my views but I also know not everyone else shares those views, and I wouldn't want them to, that's what makes this world such an amazing place, people who have different views, personalities, opinions etc, it would be pretty boring if we were all the same. It would be pretty selfish of me to decide not to join the registar purely based on the fact I don't want a transplant in the future..  At first I was worried about joining the registar because I thought it might make me a bit of an hypocrite, not personally believing in transplant  for myself but donating my organs so others can carry on... This very nearly made me decide not to join.. But then once I really thought about it I realised it doesn't make me an hypocrite, I'm just wise enough to know that just because I don't believe in something doesn't mean other people don't.  Who am I to declare my views as "right"?  I'm no one special... So that's why I decided to join, and I joined knowing in my heart it's what I really want to do.. So one day when someone finally gets one of my organs they wont have to sit and worry that it was given to them because the person was pressured into joining the regisar, or because they were made to feel guilty about it, they can rest assured it was a special gift that I decided to give after thinking about it seriously and deciding it's something that I actually want to do.. 

Now I've seen a few comments recently where people have disagreed with people who have decided against organ donation.. I even saw one comment where someone called people "Evil" if they weren't on the organ donation registar, really?! I feel like people are somehow being made to feel guilty and a bad human being if they decide to not join. People proclaim they must be stupid, or they are selfish... What happened to organ donation being a gift? People seem to be against  the opt out system because of this reason, saying it will no longer be a gift if people are automatically put on the registar, and they will feel guilty and bad if they receive organs knowing that person was just put on the opt out system.. But then they are quite happy to try and guilt trip people into joining or turning against them if they decide it's not something they want to do.  Now personally I feel if someone hasn't taken the time to properly think about organ donation and just decides against it then yes, you may say these people mgiht be being a bit selfish for not even thinking about it... but if someone has taken the time to think about it and then goes on to decide that actually it's not something they want to do, then surely that's their right too?  They shouldn't then have to worry about people thinking bad of them or calling them evil for making that decision..

So I guess what I'm saying in this blog is actually take the time to think about whether or not you want to join the organ donation registar, and then make a choice..  If you decide to join don't do it because you feel guilt tripped into it or feel pressured to, or because you're afraid people will dislike you if they find out you haven't joined, make sure if you do it, it's because you really want to..  And if you decide it's not something you want to do then that's absolutely fine too.. You're not going to wake up in the morning with horns and a devil tail, it doesn't make you a bad person if you've made an informed choice.  I realise there are more people waiting for a transplant then there are people on the registar, and any awareness that will help people make an informed choice is amazing, but do we really want to guilt trip people into this and make them out to be horrible people if they don't want to?  Do you really want to have someone's organ knowing that person didn't actually necessarily want to be an organ donor but just got pressured into it.  Organ donation is a gift from one person to another, I personally feel it should be kept that way..