According to a new survey by Donate Life America, 45 percent of people are undecided, reluctant or do not wish to have their organs and tissue donated after their deaths. While a majority of U.S. adults reported that they wish to be organ or tissue donors, 55 percent, the continued level of reluctance and indecision illustrates a critical need to continue to increase the level of support for organ and tissue donation to give hope to the more than 110,000 adults and children on the U.S. transplant waiting list, an average 18 of whom die each day waiting, and the hundreds of thousands more in need of tissue and cornea transplants.
“We are encouraged by the continued willingness of a majority of Americans to register as donors,” says Donate Life America Chair Helen Bottenfield. “With the huge and growing need for organs, our hope is to save the greatest possible number of lives.” April is National Donate Life month and Donate Life America is encouraging people to visit www.donatelife.net or www.facebook.com/donatelife to learn more and to register.
The online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults revealed some continuing myths regarding donation. For example, when asked if they believed that doctors may not try as hard to save their lives if their wish to be organ donors is known, 29 percent agreed. Also, 55 percent agreed with the erroneous idea that it is possible for a brain dead person to recover from his or her injuries.
“It’s important for people to know the facts,” says David Fleming, president and CEO, Donate Life America. “For health professionals, the number one priority is always to save the lives of their patients, and only after death is organ and tissue donation considered. While you can recover from comas, brain death is permanent, irreparable.”