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    Organ donation research paper Organ donation research paper Document Transcript

    • Shayla Hampton<br />English Research Paper<br />April 8, 2011<br />The Gift of Life<br />Elizabeth Jetton is a 13 month baby girl that is should be just learning to crawl and beginning to laugh, but because of a rare lung disease her parents have never heard her utter a sound. She has been in the hospital for months waiting for a new set of lungs. Baby Elizabeth was put on the waiting list shortly after being born and is still waiting for a match. Her team of doctors says she is running out of time. Will she live or will she die? What If I said you could decide this young girl’s fate? A simple check mark in the organ donor box can secure this babies life. What will you decide?<br />Organ transplants have a very vast and interesting history. Unknown to many, some organs transplants have been recorded before Christ. According to legend a Roman Catholic saint was said to have taken a leg of an deceased Ethiopian peasant and used it as their own. Also Chinese Pie Chiao believed a way to ensure life balance and serenity was to replace the heart of a weak man with one of a strong man. He was recorded performing heart transplants in the 2nd century; it is unknown if the transplant were successful or lead to death. One of the first medical milestones was in 1930 when an Ukrainian surgeon preformed the first transplant with a deceased donor. Unfortunately, the organ was rejected which lead to the patient’s death. A successful nonliving transplant wasn’t done until 1962. In, December of 1954 the first living transplant was performed on two twin brothers. Also in 1992 the first baboon to human transplant was done at the University of Pittsburg. Most recently, the world’s first full face transplant was done in Spain. This procedure was done on a nameless man that was shot in the face that had intense troubles breathing and speaking. This transplant was successful. Organ transplants will increase in success and also become more efficient as time and new innovation arises.<br />There are several types of transplant and procedures that are commonly used on patients. The major classification standard is the difference between living and nonliving donations. Blood, Plasma, and Bone marrow can be donated to enhance the lives of others while tissue, organ, and cornea transplant saves lives. There are also different types of transplant surgeries that can be performed on a patient in need. Autografts are transplants that are used to replace or add someone’s tissue to another place in their body. In this case the donor is also the transplant patient. Allograft is when two genetically non-identical individuals of the same species are involved in the transplantation while to genetically identical (twins) would have an isograft. Xenograft is when there is an exchange of different species organs, fish and primates parts are commonly used. Choosing which type of transplant that is most suitable is on patient to patient bases. Also availability and medical severity play a key role on which transplant will be used. Ideally isografts (between twins) are most successful because rejection is less likely because of common genetic identities. Doctors also determine what procedure is best and will be most successful for their patients. <br />There are currently over 100,000 U.S citizens waiting for organ donations just like Elizabeth that was mentioned earlier. A former transplant recipient once said that her life came to a complete halt for the three years she was on the transplant waiting list. It’s a simple yes or no question; will you give the gift of life? It’s stunning to hear the countless heart wrenching stories of people from every walk of life being totally dependent on the slim chance of finding a compatible donor. In the words of an unknown author, “Don't think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive.  It's really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive.” This seems like a clear choice for anyone with any sense of empathy for others, but it seems that some people are not enlightened on the severity of the situation at hand.<br />Currently there is a circulation a false organ donation facts and statistics that has caused misconceptions. All the facts I acquired were from reputable sites, most were government funded. As of 2am, April 6 there are 110,833 people waiting for organ donations. Although over one hundred thousand people are waiting for organs only 72,371 are on the active list. One name is added to this waiting list every eleven minutes. They are awaiting the gift of life. One organ donor can save the lives of eight people help enhance the lives of up to fifty others. Even with this vast usability approximately eighteen people die a day (about 7,000 a year) waiting for a matching available organ. About 75 organ transplants are completed every day with a varied success rate. The average success rate of a kidney transplant five years after the initial surgery is about 69.3%, while lung transplants are drastically lower with an 54.4% survival rate. There are also many myths about organ donation that I will disprove. “I’m too old to donate; no one would want my organs.” “I am a smoker and not in good health; my organs are no good.” These are all FALSE; donations are accepted with few guidelines. These guidelines restrict donation of those infected with transferable diseases such as HIV and cancer that is actively spreading.<br />Some transplantable organs include livers, kidneys, pancreas, heart, lungs, and intestines. Organs have to be allocated to an individual specifically based on genetic and anatomic conditions. Factors of allocation are, but not limited to size of organ, blood type, and time spent on waiting list. Also if the patient is a child allocation may be affected. 10% of all patients waiting on active list are under the age of eighteen. If there is a close relative distance between donor and recipient they have a greater chance of sharing positive allocation factors. Lastly, in special cases where a medical urgency is required the process of allocation may be decreased. <br />Several problems could arise during an organ transplants and donations. The amount of donors is the biggest and main concern. This could be solved by promoting organ donation awareness for living and deceased donors. Also If the U.S government applies and “opt out” policy to organ donation, like most European countries have, the number of donors will inevitable increase. This policy will make all U.S citizens automatically be considered donors unless they “opt out” by filling out proper paper work. Also once an organ is available the allocation adds another problem. Matching organs is a very intricate process that has a large margin of error which can lead to ineffective transplants. Solutions to this problem will surface with time and as medical technology flourishes. Once an organ is transplanted rejection can occur. This is when patients immune system denies the organ which make the surgery unsuccessful, An individual that has a rejected organ has to have their name returned to the waiting list. The rejection could have occurred for a number of reasons; one could be “bad” organs. These organs may have been diseased but weren’t detected during initial allocation.<br />The current deficiency of organs has lead to various illegal transplant. Forced donation is very common throughout the world. Chinese Deputy Minister of Health was recorded saying that ninety-five percent of all organs used for transplants were taken from executed prisoners. In the United States of American congress proposed a similar act that allowed the government to seize the organs of prisoners that died while incarcerated. It was unfortunately voted down. Organ theft is also another common practice around the world. The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 made it illegal to sell or buy organs but that hasn’t stopped some wealthy people from doing just that. According to Newsweek Magazine, one and five organs come from the “black market”. Some are taken from those who willing sells them and some are stolen from bodies and taken from kidnapped children and tourist. It was recorded that fifty percent of Pakistani villagers sold one of their kidneys to acquire money. These kidneys range in price from ten to twenty thousand dollars. The price changes depending on what part of the world you purchased it from. To transplant this organ and cover the cost of supplies and surgeons cost the total may be 150,000 per transplant. In response to the high price of black market organs and transplants customers tend to be wealth with international connections. <br />In conclusion, organ donation is the ultimate act of human kindness. Giving someone the gift of the ability to witness their children graduated from college, and the ability to see their grandchildren born is something that cannot be topped. The gift of life and everything life encompasses exceeds the measure of any scale. Awareness is the key to a problem that will always been relevant as long as people suffer aliments. As medicine and its practices advance, I believe the desperate need for organ donors will decrease, but we as citizens have to be willing to play our part too. It’s as easy as a check mark in a box, so what are you waiting for? Someone is waiting for you so they can live. <br />