Carry a donor card.
I've got an organ donor card. Also the little box on the back of my driving license is ticked for multiple organ donation. If I am brain dead and on a life support machine, I want whatever bits of me that may be of some use to someone to be harvested as quickly as possible before they degrade(organs that are suitable for transplant are the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas corneas and heart valves). I want the hospital to know this immediately. I don't want them asking my paramour or member of my family-should I die before them- about it. The decision is mine. I made it with a cool clear head. I realise permission will still be sought before they starting cutting and removing pieces-assuming they are of use- but my loved ones know my wishes and knowing that should make their decision easier.
The number of people waiting in this country for new kidneys and other organs grows and grows. Personally I would be a big fan of people carrying an opt out card rather than a donor card as I imagine it must be terribly difficult to speak with a grieving family and convey to them how important it is to harvest the organ of their loved ones a quickly as possible.
Can you imagine having to ask the mother of maybe a child who has been struck by a car, or a husband whose wife has collapsed and is considered brain dead, if it would be okay to start removing bits and pieces? Even a perfectly logical person can be unhinged and hog-tied by grief and consider the actions of the hospital vulture like and predatory, and perhaps dither over a decision while perfectly good organs wither and die.
Unfortunately the waiting lists for patients waiting for transplants are still too long. People find the removal of organ from clinically dead people disturbing. We focus on the dead instead of the living. And it's a shame.
We all die, if we're lucky we die old, full, just after having sex and in our sleep. But the reality is that some of us might die young, some of might die in accidents, some of us might get a disease and need a transplant to carry on living. Some of us might donate, some of us might need a donation. I would like to know that somewhere out there someone might be in a position to help me or my loved ones some day, just as somewhere out there I might be able to help them.
Carry a donor card. When you're gone, you're gone, but your last act on this Earth might just save some one's life.