There are about 84,000 people in the US on the national transplant waiting list.
This number is growing, but the number of organ donors is not growing as fast.
Should people who sign up to donate their organs get first dibs on organs if they need them?
Chris Berdik reports in today's Boston Globe I'll give you my heart but I might need your liver on the ethical dilemmas involved in a new organ network. LifeSharers is based on the premise that in order to get, you first have to give.
I think First Dibs is a an ethical way to encourage people to donate organs even though it seems to
play on people's fear that they may be left out when they really need it. How is this different from insurance where proceeds are paid out only to those people who pay into the pool. Only in this case, the life insurance is free. There is a pdf form you can download to keep with your license that puts a restriction on the use of your organs - they go to the lifesharers' network first and only released to others if no suitable matches can be found in the network
LifeSharers is a non-profit voluntary network of organ and tissue donors. LifeSharers members promise to donate upon their death, but they give fellow members first access to their organs and tissue. As LifeSharers members, you and your loved ones will have access to organs and tissue that otherwise may not be available to you. As the LifeSharers network grows, more and more organs and tissue may become available to you -- if you are a member.
Even if you are already a registered organ donor, you should join the LifeSharers network. By doing so, you will have access to organs and tissue that otherwise may not be available to you.