Lawmakers push organ donation

Posted April 12, 2011

— During Organ Donation Month, lawmakers are urging North Carolina residents to sign up for the state's donor registry.

North Carolina has more than 4 million registered organ donors, making it the sixth-largest donor registry in the U.S., officials said.

"Anytime a group of 10 people get together, at least one of them will be touched by organ donation," said Rep. Dale Folwell, R-Forsyth.

North Carolina has about 3,500 people on waiting lists for needed organs, according to Carolina Donor Services, and the list keeps growing. Each day, about 18 people die nationwide while awaiting a transplant, officials said.

Anyone with a red heart symbol on their driver's license means they have consented to be an organ donor. People can have the symbol added to their license at any Division of Motor Vehicles office or by registering online.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 20, 2011

    @htomc42, I hear you. I understand that you are concerned that your dead body might be used to help others without your dead body receiving some sort of compensation. I got it.

    Meanwhile, some of us will continue to do good things now and after we are dead, because it actually helps others. YMMV

  • htomc42 Apr 14, 2011

    It is a big business of which the most critical element without which none of it would exist- the donor - gets nothing but warm fuzzy feelings. Under this state of affairs, there are shortages and suffering. It's time for a change.

    "Force" has nothing to do with the default-donations scheme. Our rights and property, including our very flesh and blood- are and ought to be inviolable until and unless explicit permission is given. Provide some reasonable compensation, and I think we would be pleasantly surprised at how much permission ensues. It would also work much better than the sort of moral blackmail that you seem to prefer.

  • ohmygosh Apr 13, 2011

    What if the driver's license isn't available to show you opted out? Since organs have to be removed quickly after death, they go ahead and remove organs anyhow? What's to stop them? What if one doesn't have a driver's license? I can see the lawsuits now. There needs to be paperwork indicating you want to donate.

    BTW It would be interesting to know the total $$ spent on organ transplants and the donation process per year in the US. How does that compare to say preventative medicine? I suspect organ transplants are big business.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 13, 2011

    @htomc42, you would be correct if we @oems was speaking of “donation by force”. @eoms was just saying to make the donation the “default” option.

    So, don’t worry. You would still be able to tell the DMV person that you don’t care about the 15 people who die everyday and that you want all your organs to rot with you in the ground.

  • htomc42 Apr 13, 2011

    We don't make people donors "by default" because in our free system, we have an inviolable right of ownership of -ourselves-. Nobody can (or should) infringe upon that in any way, without our explicit knowledge and permission.

    Do I have some right to take the money out of your wallet by "default", unless you go to some lengths to explicitly register your disapproval? May I enter your house at will unless you specifically forbid me? The same principle applies.

  • eoms Apr 13, 2011

    Why not make everyone a donor by default. If they don't want to for whatever reason, they should be able to indicate that, eg on their driver's license.

  • htomc42 Apr 13, 2011

    Public officials continually beg people to become donors, and this has gone on for years and years. Yet, the supply of available organs remains low, and the ones available are ridiculously expensive.

    Isn't it about time to consider some other method, for the sake of the people who are suffering for lack of organs? Why will we not consider offering the donors some sort of compensation for their organs or blood? Before you attack me as being somehow heartless or not "noble" enough for suggesting that we pay donors, hasn't the basic capitalist model resulted in a ready supply of other items? If more people would donate, knowing that their families would benefit from the posthumous use of the organs, or if they would be compensated now for other body parts, and if that resulted in more available for the people who so desperately need them, wouldn't it be worth a try?

  • AF Flight Nurse Apr 13, 2011

    Check your label on your medication. If it ends with the suffix "pril" or "an", there is a very good chance you are on an ACE-I or an ARB which not only protects your kidneys from hypertension, but protects the fine filters within your kidney from high blood sugar such as diabetes. Two major protecting agents for the price of one.

  • AF Flight Nurse Apr 13, 2011

    Let's take this further back than the incredible expense of dialysis: in my kindest, gentlest manner, I encourage friends to take their blood pressure medicine (ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin renin blockers, etc) since artery constricting hormones from the kidneys are key to high blood pressure. Look at the label on your bottle. It's NOT just about your heart rate. Did you know this?

    Many people are genuinely surprised.

    I explain to them the genetic predispositions toward blood pressure, chronic renal failure and ultimately, dialysis. Then I ask them which they would prefer? Do they wish to spend M-W-F or T-Th-Sat for the rest of their lives on a machine versus $4.00 blood pressure medicine? Obviously, they immediately size up the alternatives and want the $4.00 medicine. Evidence-based information offered in the spirit of help to someone reading this. The tone within communication is everything! Have a great day!

  • Twittyfan Apr 13, 2011

    I am a donor because of my husband.. When he died we couldn't donate any of his organs because of his sudden death and that really makes you sad because he believed in it with all his heart and soul..