“You soon learn there’s no elegance or dignity in death if you spend time in the castle kitchens. You learn how ugly it is, and how good it tastes.” – Mark Lawrence in Prince of Thorns
I have been thinking about organ donation for a while. I have also been pursuing this issue with my parents. As heartless as it might sound, I want my parents to donate their organs once they die. And I will do the same when I die. The argument in favour of this is only one – someone else lives while you die. I guess it is reason good enough.
It is appalling that almost 500,000 people die in India every year because they don’t receive an organ when they need it. It is depressing. Lives that can be saved but aren’t! Strange myths confusing religion and organ donation waft through the air in this country. Religion may be a guide to help you live this life but once you die, religion is no good. What happens to someone after death is something nobody can perceive and it is wise to rather serve those who still have a few years left than speculate on afterlife. I am no spiritual guru but a good one should advise you no differently.
First things first. If you are to donate an organ, you better know what you can donate. In case of natural death, organs like cornea, skin, heart valves, etc can be donated. In case of brain death (which by the way is an irreversible condition and the patient can never spring back to life as opposed to what several people think) most vital organs can be donated. To be able to donate organs, one needs to also live a healthy life because diseased organs (in other words, infected organs) are no good for donation.
It is painful to see your loved one be rolled into an operation theater minutes after his/her death. But that courage should be fueled by what it is going to achieve. If you decide to donate your organs, please visit the following link for more information. Sign up a donor card and keep it with you at all times. And don’t keep this information to yourself. Please make your relatives and friends aware of your wish so they can honour this when they have to. Organs need to be harvested as soon after death as possible and it helps when people around you know of your wish.
Maybe Mark Lawrence isn’t entirely right. You don’t just have to be a piece of meat once you die. You can contribute to more than just global warming after death. There can be some Dignity in Death after all.
Featured image picture credit: PM Venkatesh