Give an organ, take an organ | AspenTimes.com

Give an organ, take an organ

Dear Editor:

Michael Wells was very lucky to get a liver transplant (“On a mission,” Dec. 10, letters to the editor, The Aspen Times). At least 9,000 of the 105,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage – give donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren’t prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has more than 13,000 members, including 220 members in Colorado.

David J. Undis

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Nashville, Tenn.