My husband recently went in the hospital for minor surgery. He was asked if he would donate his organs. I suppose we should, but somehow we do not feel comfortable with the idea that someone else will have parts of us, even though we won't need them. Are we bad or selfish people?
Signed: Feeling Guilty
Dear Feeling Guilty,
Wow, this is a tough one! Tougher for some than others, but one we all must face.
You have stated that you realize you won't need them. How wonderful to give sight to a blind person or a heart to someone who would otherwise die. How grand to know that a part of you is still living. This is the ultimate gift of love.
This having been said, the time when we enter a hospital for any reason is stressful anyway. When they seem to be asking for what's left of us, it makes you want to turn and run.
I was with a wonderful caring and giving person and when the nurse asked if she would donate her parts, she turned white and said absolutely not.
I think she felt she had a better chance of leaving there if they had nothing to gain. Some people even fear making a will because that makes them come to grips with the inevitable.
Take your time, talk with your family and see how they feel about it. This decision does not determine a person's goodness or badness. Religious views, upbringing, whether you have ever known someone who has benefited from or needed a transplant - all play a part in deciding what you want done with your remains.
You probably realize that not all parts offered are necessarily needed. If you decide to donate you can have it added to your driver's license. If you decide not to don't beat up on yourself. It wouldn't be bothering you if you were not a caring person.
You may want to do some research at the government's Organ Donation web site or other sites.
We all count on people being willing to donate in case we or a loved one need a part.
We also count on people willing to service in the armed forces, to be doctors and nurses, and to care for us in many other ways. We just can't be the one to do it all. Service your fellow men in the way that is best for you.
I sincerely wish you a long and happy life with all your parts.
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