I was going through some podcasts that I hadn’t had a chance to listen too, and I picked up on this episode of The World Science Podcast, which devoted the first half of the podcast to interesting solutions to the problem of organ shortages: a law in Israel that gives preference to organ donors if they should happen to be on an organ donation list, and a program in Iran that compensates live kidney donors.
Organ donation is an important topic to me because around a decade ago my father was lucky enough to recieve a heart transplant. I know a little bit about the waiting and the stress organ recipients and their families feel (my siblings and my mother, who remember the start of my father’s illness, know this better). Personally, I prefer solutions that would eliminate organ donors, such as artificial organs, xenotransplantation, or cloning/stem cell solutions, but all those technologies are still far from being fully viable, so it’s interesting to hear these solutions, though I feel ambivalent about them.
I can’t really go on about this at length, but it made me think to remind people to think about organ donation. A good resource if you have questions about it is the website of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (www.core.org). Someday I might make a longer post about my position on organ donation, but for now I’ll boil my position down as simply as possible: I am listed as an organ donor because after I die, I know I won’t have any use for those parts of my body, so why not give them to someone who needs them, to save as many lives as I can as mine fades.