Market Incentives Put Organ Donors First
By David J. Undis April is National Donate Life Month and a time to consider the importance of becoming an organ donor and offering the gift of life to others. Now, an innovative, voluntary network of organ donors can offer that same gift back to you—all you have to do is sign your donor card. April is National Donate Life Month and a time to consider the importance of becoming an organ donor and offering the gift of life to others. Now, an innovative, voluntary network of organ donors can offer that same gift back to you—all you have to do is sign your donor card. LifeSharers is an organ donor club that encourages membership by offering enrollees preferred access to transplantable organs donated by its member pool. If no LifeSharers participant is a suitable match for the organs, they then become available to non-members. There is not an organ shortage in America. There is a donor shortage. Sadly, only about half of the organs that could be transplanted are donated. Since about 20,000 transplantable organs are buried or cremated every year, it is vital to increase the pool of donors. In an organ market governed by laws forbidding buying and selling organs, LifeSharers provides a non-economic incentive to become a donor. By applying the Golden Rule to the world of organ donation, LifeSharers gives organs first to organ donors. This incentive has increased the number of available organs, attracting new donors concerned with their likelihood of acquiring an organ should they ever need a transplant. The concern is justified considering the more than 88,000 Americans already on the transplant waiting list. Of those 88,000 hoping for an organ, about 60% of the people will die before they get one. Each year more than 6,000 deaths occur—one every 90 minutes—because the necessary organ did not reach a patient in time. These deaths are needless. Some claim it’s not fair to give organ donors special treatment. Yet, people who do not donate their organs are the ones who unfairly benefit from the current system. Non-donors receive about 70% of all donated organs. LifeSharers does not create an inequity, it corrects one. Giving organs first to organ donors is simply the fair thing to do. After all, without people considerate enough to become organ donors themselves, there would be no organs to transplant in the first place. It takes just seconds to join LifeSharers at www.lifesharers.com. Membership in LifeSharers is free and anyone can join—parents can even enroll their minor children. By creating an incentive to organ donation, LifeSharers is increasing the number of organs available to those in need of a transplant. The lives saved from those organs will transform National Donate Life Month from a time to plead for organ donors into a time to celebrate all the lives saved through the compassion shown by donors.