APRIL Donate Life Month
>>> "Dave Undis"
April is National Donate Life Month - would your readers be interested in learning about a better way to donate their organs when they die? Your readers can help themselves as they help reduce the deadly shortage of transplantable organs and make the transplant system fairer.
There used to be just two choices when it came to organ donation - donate or don't donate. Now there is a third choice - donate to other donors who will return the favor. This choice is available through LifeSharers, the non-profit national organ circle. Everyone is invited to join the organ circle, and there is no cost to join. Members agree to donate their organs when they die. They also agree to offer their organs first to fellow members, if any member is a suitable match, before making them available to non-members.
People who join the organ circle accomplish three things:
(1) They increase their chances of getting a transplant if they ever need one. Members get preferred access to the organs of other members of the LifeSharers organ circle. As the organ circle expands, your chances of getting a transplant if you ever need one keep going up - if you are a member.
(2) They give other people an incentive to donate their organs. The only way to get preferred access to the organs of other LifeSharers members it to register as an organ donor and join the organ circle. If you are not a member of the organ circle, your chances of getting a transplant if you ever need one keep going down as the organ circle expands.
(3) They make the transplant system fairer. About half of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who have not agreed to donate their own organs when they die. This is not fair - it's like giving the Powerball jackpot to someone who didn't buy a ticket.
Our nation faces a severe organ shortage that grows worse every year. LifeSharers is an innovative way to attack that shortage. LifeSharers has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and Business Week, and on ABC News, CNN, and the FOX News Network.
I am the founder of LifeSharers. I would welcome the opportunity to help you educate your readers on the urgent need for more organ donors and to address the concerns that some have raised about LifeSharers. Critics say that LifeSharers, while its motives are good, unfairly gives its members priority over others who may have a more pressing need. LifeSharers maintains that giving organs first to registered organ donors will save thousands of lives every year, and that too many organs are unfairly given to people who won't donate their own organs. The debate is an important one - but as long as people are unaware of the issues, and have no personal incentive to register, lives will continue to be needlessly lost.
You can help save lives by highlighting the organ shortage during National Donate Life Month in April. I am available to discuss:
. How to save thousands of lives every year just by changing how we allocate organs.
. Why the organ shortage is really an organ donor shortage.
. How the national organ allocation system makes the organ shortage worse.
. Why so many people are not registered organ donors.
. Why incentives are needed to reduce the organ shortage.
I can also arrange interviews with LifeSharers members in your area, and with the experts who serve as advisors to LifeSharers.
For more information about LifeSharers, please visit our online Press Room at http://www.lifesharers.org/pressroom.htm
I look forward to hearing from you.
David J. Undis
FACTS ABOUT LIFESHARERS:
- LifeSharers has over 8,000 members, including members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- LifeSharers membership has doubled in the last 12 months.
- LifeSharers advisors include:
- Gerry W. Beyer, Professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law
- Twila Brase, President of the Citizens' Council on Health Care
- Steve P. Calandrillo, Professor at the University of Washington Law School
- Lloyd R. Cohen, Professor at the George Mason University School of Law
- Richard A. Epstein, Professor at the University of Chicago Law School
- Michele Goodwin, Professor at the DePaul University School of Law
- David R. Henderson, Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School
- David L. Kaserman, Professor of Economics at Auburn University
- Merrill Matthew, Director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance
- Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Alexander Tabarrok, Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University
- LifeSharers members include doctors, nurses, bioethicists, teachers, students, members of the clergy, and members of our armed forces.
- About 10% of LifeSharers members are minor children enrolled by their parents.
- No one is excluded from joining LifeSharers due to any pre-existing medical condition.
FACTS ABOUT THE ORGAN SHORTAGE:
- Over 95,000 Americans are on the national transplant waiting list.
- About 48,000 Americans will join the transplant waiting list in 2007.
- Over 50% the people on the transplant waiting list will die waiting.
- Over 8,000 Americans die every year because of the organ shortage.
- Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year.
- Only about 50% of all adult Americans are registered organ donors.
- Families refuse permission to transplant organs from a deceased relative about 50% of the time.