It is saddening to hear about the recent death of a 19 year-old girl who waited for a double-lung donation but in vain. In fact, many sick people have no choice but wait to die due to the general apathy towards organ donation in the city. Write an article to your school magazine, explaining the phenomenon and suggesting feasible measures to turn the situation around.
Continue One’s Life with One Organ
Recently, a 19 year-old girl passed away before she could get suitable double lungs donated by others. The news has put the lack of organ donors and general apathy in Hong Kong under the spotlight. In fact, there are only about five people who are willing to donate their organs after death in every one hundred million people in our city. It is much fewer than other countries, such as the USA and Canada. People in Hong Kong are apathetic towards organ donation. There are some reasons leading to such a saddening situation.
First and foremost, most Chinese hold the belief that people should keep their entire bodies after death. It is a very common traditional belief. Chinese see “death” as a taboo and they seldom talk about it, let alone organ donation. Keeping every part of the body, ranging from the inner organs, such as heart and liver to outer body parts, such as limbs is of utmost importance in their minds. Therefore, most of the citizens are not willing to sign up for donating their organs after death. With such a stereotype, many family members also refuse to donate their dead relatives’ organs. It is very understandable that the family members want their relatives to have a complete body, especially in a sad time. Even if there are more people signing up for the donation scheme, only a small proportion of them can contribute. This is why the donation rate is low in Hong Kong and many patients cannot get suitable organs, but die.
What is more, citizens lack the information and knowledge about organ donation. Some people think that if the doctors know they have signed up for the scheme, doctors will not spare no efforts to save their lives in case they meet an accident or are extremely sick. Some of them even have the misconception that their organs will be taken out directly when they are still alive. As they do not know much about organ transplant, they are afraid of it and choose not to donate. They also have no idea about how to donate and where to sign up. The inadequate information leads to a low donation rate and people are apathetic towards organ donations.
Over 2000 patients are dying and they really need help. We should never watch this alarming phenomenon with folded arms. Some measures should be taken to turn the situation around.
Education is the key. There should be leaflets and advertisements spreading the information about organ donation in our city. The youngsters should be educated through talks and moral education lessons about the importance of organ donation. Only by education can the misconceptions be clarified. People will be more likely to abandon their bias after they learn about how meaningful donating organs to the needy is. Education helps.
Apart from education, there could also be sharing given by the organ-receivers and donors who are involved in live organ transplant. True and vivid sharing can touch listeners’ hearts. Receivers could share their happiness with the public and it can surely stir up people’s mercy. Donors could give confidence to the public and this kind of sharing let people know that it is safe and meaningful to help others. The public will pay more heed to this issue and they will no longer be that apathetic and doubtful towards organ donation. Frank sharing leaves an impression. Some even propose replacing the current opt-in donation scheme by an opt-out one, which could be further explored.
Similar cases of patients who wait to die is one too many. It is always great to help others. Our little action can help continue one’s life and give hope to the patients and their beloved ones. Why not sign up for organ donation and make a contribution after we die? Let sympathy spread in our hometown.
Kwok Nok Tsin