Each year, the number of men, women, and children who depend on organ donation for their survival increases, but the supply of available organs remains scarce. According to federal statistics, 20 people in the U.S. die each day waiting for an organ transplant. Most Americans support organ donation. However, only 58% of those who support it sign up as organ donors themselves. Improved education around the processes involved in organ donation could encourage more people to register.
People can choose to donate their healthy internal organs, skin, bone, bone marrow, and corneas to another person, and this choice can save many lives. In the United States, individuals can register to become organ donors through their state’s registry, by signing up online or at the motor vehicle department. Though most organ donation takes place after the donor has died, some organs and tissues can be donated during life. Because living donation is major surgery, it involves many physical, psychological, and financial factors that both donor and recipient must take into consideration.
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