Pros and Cons of Organ Transplants

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Organ donation allows up to 8 people to receive a life saving transplant should something unforeseen happen to a healthy individual. Up to 25 different organs in total can be successfully donated. With tens of thousands of people awaiting organs right now around the world, there has never been a better time to evaluate the pros and cons of organ donation.

The Pros of Organ Donation

1. It saves 100,000 lives every year.
Men, women, and children all have a need for donated organs right now. Kidneys are in the highest demand, but heart, lung, and pancreas transplants are also in high demand. Organ donation allows people who normally wouldn’t have a chance at having a life to now have hope.

2. Living donations are possible.
People who donate an organ don’t have to die unexpectedly to become an organ donor. Kidney and bone marrow transplants are common for living donors and partial transplants of an organ, such as with the liver and the lung, are also possible.

3. It creates a more productive world.
Someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes somewhere in the world today. Not only does an organ transplant recipient and their family give thanks for the donation, but it allows an individual to continue being productive when normally they would not be.

The Cons of Organ Donation

1. It doesn’t change a tragedy.
Brave words are often spoken during a tragic event, but nothing changes the fact that a heart transplant or other major organ typically comes at the death of another individual. It may be a comfort to know a part of someone is living in another, but there is always grief involved.

2. Diabetes development risks become higher.
In a review of organ transplant recipients, 10% of them have gone on to develop diabetes at some point in their lives. General illnesses are more common as well because drugs must be taken to suppress the immune system so the new organ won’t be rejected.

3. There can be surgery complications.
This applies to the organ recipient as well as a living donor. There is always a risk, however small, that something could go wrong and put that person’s life at an even greater danger.

The pros and cons of organ donation often prove that the benefits outweigh the risks, but this must be decided on an individual basis. Use these key points to decide if this is right for you.