Archive for Monday, April 19, 2004

Donor pact

April 19, 2004


To the editor:

Regarding "Young patient gets 2nd new heart" (Journal-World, April 14):

Rose Naughtin was very lucky to get her heart transplant. More than half of the people who need organ transplants in the United States die before they get one. Most of these deaths are needless. They happen only because too many Americans bury their organs when they die instead of sharing the gift of life.

The solution is simple -- if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

A grass-roots group of organ donors called LifeSharers is making this idea a reality one member at a time.

LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors. Members agree to donate their organs when they die, but they give fellow members "first dibs" on their organs. This creates a pool of organs available first to members. The existence of this pool gives other people an incentive to sign donor cards and join the network, and this incentive grows stronger as the network expands.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers at Membership is free.

David J. Undis,

executive director, LifeSharers

Nashville, Tenn.

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