Donating body parts

Are you an organ donor?

When you get your driver’s license in Kentucky, they ask if you’d like to be an organ donor. As a donor, if your brain ends up dying but your body parts keep working, especially if your heart’s still beating or can be kept beating, then doctors can harvest your body parts and try to give them to other people who need them. Pretty cool that technology allows this.

I’m not an organ donor. Each time they’ve asked, I’ve defaulted to turning them down. I don’t know enough about it to feel like I’m making an informed decision. I’d like to know more.

For example, who decides when to start taking me apart, and how do they decide this? I also worry about incentives that might push health care professionals to begin the process, well, sooner than I would like.

Looking into it more, though, I grew interested in other ways to donate. I generally think of this as an end-of-life deal, not something I could do now. Like hair or blood or kidneys (well, just one of those) or even parts of my lungs and liver – technically, I could donate any of them now, before my brain shuts down.

But would I do that? Would you? Why, or why not? Something to think about, along with the first question of becoming an organ donor.