The Gift Of Life - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

The Gift Of Life

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Tony McEwing, FOX 11 News Tony McEwing, FOX 11 News

It is perhaps one of the greatest gifts a person can give and yet so many people are afraid or unwilling to do it. In many states here in the U-S, becoming a potential organ donor is as easy as checking a box on your driver's license. And yet so many people still refuse to do it. Why? Well there are any number of reasons but there are two that you seem to hear most often. Many people believe, erroneously I think, that if doctors know you're an organ donor they may be reluctant to render lifesaving care if you are near death. I find it very difficult to believe that those in the medical field who are charged with using every reasonable means humanly possible to save lives would in fact allow people to die just to harvest their organs. But apparently that's what many people believe. Others simply don't do it because they don't even want to ponder the possibility of their own untimely demise.

But something that happened recently gives me reason to believe attitudes may be changing. A social media push on Facebook recently boosted the number of people who registered themselves as organ donors by a whopping 2,100 percent in just one day! That's according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and just published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

There are more than 118,000 people currently on waiting lists in the U-S for kidneys, livers and other organs. Up to 10,000 people die every year whose organs would be suitable for transplant, but because they have not consented to be donors, their organs go unused. And that means a lot of people who could have survived won't because there simply are not enough organs to go around.

I realize this isn't the easiest or most pleasant subject to talk about but, on the other hand, there's comfort in knowing, if you unfortunately do meet with an untimely death, there's a possibility your final legacy will be the gift of life for someone else.

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