Every time I go to renew my license, I face a moment of truth – you know the one. The application asks you to check whether you want to be an organ and tissue donor. It’s worded in a most compelling way – something along the lines of “Donate Life.” The corresponding plea goes on to say how your donation can save the lives of 8 people, and that more than 20,000 people in California alone are on a transplant list. It makes it hard to say no.
Now, I know checking a box and getting a pink sticker that says Organ Donor on my drivers license isn’t legally binding. But still – it causes me to question: what does happen energetically if your body parts and bones get dispersed – and even more mindblowing, if those same parts are transplanted into someone else’s living being?
It also calls into question something deeper, and it’s this: if someone is on the path to dying, what role should science and medicine intervene…?
Then I think of the living – a dear friend of mine who lost her sister as she desperately waited for a liver donor, and less pressing, my partner, who a few years back had a cervical spine fusion, and received a bone graft from a cadaver. I’m sure all around the world there are hundreds of thousands of stories like these. In fact, I read one this morning – an inspiring story about a 13-year-old who met the family of her liver donor. Read it here:
Rationally, I see transplants as ultimate form of recycling. And making that decision to donate is the highest form of philanthropy. It’s a way that we, in death, can continue to care for the living, regardless of whether that’s our responsibility.
So – as of now – according to my driver’s license and in my Will – I’ve agreed to do it. I checked the box. I got the pink sticker. I admit – something about “walking the talk” gives me the willies, but it is what it is. I’m attached to the idea of my body while I’m in it, but I feel sure I won’t need it when I die.
If there’s anyone out there who does, and part of me can contribute to a life force in some way, well then, that makes any feelings of discomfort I have when I’m alive worth it.
What do you think? Are you an organ donor? What issues does this bring up for you or your family? I want to know.