Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Organ Donor < 3

I have always been an organ donor. I want to keep my eyes; perhaps my heart, but since I got my license at 16, I have always chosen to donate my organs were I to perish. I think it selfish to keep something of yours that could save the lives of others. And not just one other, but up to, what? 10? ...how many vital organs do we have again?

My aunts are nurses, my mom is a nurse; both my grandmothers worked in hospitals of one kind or another at one point or another. When I first chose to donate, I always heard the stories that said they let you die if you are an organ donor - that they don't try as hard to save your  life if you're barely breathing. The Nurses always denied this...until recently.

My family came down earlier this month for the cherry blossoms and to visit me and my other aunt. At lunch, my one aunt, who is the director of nursing at a large trauma unit, told me they recently changed the laws to say that, basically, they will let you die easier if you are an organ donor. She changed her status on her license. Made her husband and daughter change theirs too. She urged me to change mine: To retract my organ donation.

My retort befuddled her: I will not change my mind. I would die to save 5 strangers: 5 mothers, daughters, fathers, sisters, brothers. If that is what is chosen for me, if that is my lot in life, so be it. Just so be it. I believe that life is fated. Every step we take is chosen for us. And while I don't believe that a building defines your spirituality, I do believe in God. In God's will.

And so I told her: If my life is hanging in the balance, if my body is frail and my chance of survival is slim, perhaps I wouldn't want to live anyway. "But what about the chance to live; what if you would have lived," she asked. I told her that if by my perishing, I can extend the life of others - those who are otherwise healthy, except for that one pesky organ - that I would die to save their lives. She looked at me in disgust. She couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to live.

Oh, but I do. I so do. I love my life. Every moment of it - even the ones I hate, I love. But if I am meant to live, I will live. If I am meant to die, I will die in peace knowing I have saved someone else who is truly loved. And they can love their life. And perhaps that selfless act might bring some peace to my family as well. So be not disgusted and understand that while I hate people, I love humanity. And, when hanging in the balance, I would die to save your life as well.

Or her life. 

The world lacks compassion. But I have hope. And I have faith. And then there's fate...