Letter to the Editor: Register as an Organ Donor

by William Johnson | 5/24/18 2:00am

Most people excitedly await the coming festivities of their 21st birthday and their first legal taste of alcohol. However, this celebration is often coupled with a more mundane activity: renewing their driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This boring trip to the DMV, however, could actually be the most important part of birthdays. This is because at the DMV, people can register to become organ donors — addressing a little-known, but major nationwide problem with the simple checking of a box.

Currently, hospitals in the United States are facing a massive organ shortage. Almost 120,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list, yet only a quarter of them are likely to receive organs this year, if the number of transplants performed in 2016 serves as an indication. Every day, 20 people die waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, some of whom may not even reach their 21st birthday. Unfortunately, the organ shortage is only getting worse; a new person is added to the list every 10 minutes, while the national donor pool remains stagnant at just over 50 percent. The silver lining to this problem is that it has an easy fix. Registering to be an organ donor can save up to eight people’s lives, and people can register on their next trip to the DMV or online with a few simple clicks. Either way, by registering as an organ donor, people can take a step toward resolving this shortage and fulfilling an important moral duty.

— William Johnson

Johnson is a member of the Class of 2019.

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