Organ Opt-Out aka Implied Consent USA

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 "As of August 1, 2016, there were 120,004 people waiting for life-saving organ transplants in the USA.  Of these, 96,645 were awaiting kidney transplants."

                                                                (compliments of Wikipedia/Organ donation) 

I was diagnosed at 5 with deformed ureters which grew into the sides of my bladder, in turn causing reflux pushing the waste from my bladder back up into my kidneys.  By the age of 7 I had an operation to connect my ureters the correct way.  Although this has worked with some people diagnosed sooner then myself it was not enough to keep my kidneys.  By the Age of 16 I was looking into which kind of dialysis would best fit my needs, I was put on the transplant list and had 10% function of both kidneys. 

   I had just become a sophomore in high school, was a cheerleader, felt tired at times but felt what I knew at "normal healthy". It was a typical day at school when my dad picked me up saying he received notice that I was going to be the proud recipient of a kidney!  But this wasn't just any kidney, this was someone who had taken the time to talk to his family, checked the box on his driver's license or a person who's family chose to remember his life by saving many other lives!  

Looking back now 18 years out, I am happily married, we have 3 healthy happy children,  life is lived it to its fullest!  My kidney function is doing great although we hit a few road bumps I still look to many more happy healthy years.  In the back of my mind I know that no matter the transplant we are all on barrowed time.  I WILL eventually need another life saving transplant.

This selfless act  from my donors family saved up to 8 lives that day!  Not only did these organs save lives but they also helped to save families from watching there loved ones go under life saving treatments just to wait for an organ, treatments that can make you bedridden, sick, tired all the time and are a last resort for those on the waiting list. On average 20 people die each day while waiting for a life saving organ transplant. 

  As of 2010, 24 European countries have some form of presumed consent (opt-out) system, with the most prominent and limited opt-out systems in Spain, Austria and Belgium yielding high donor rates.  Donations may be for research, or more commonly healthy transplantable organs and tissues my be donated to be transplanted into another person.

This petition is for an "Opt-out" law.  This means that you will automatically be registered as an organ donor.  While views of organ donation are positive there is a large gap between the numbers of registered donors compared to those awaiting organ donation on a global level.  Right now about 15% of people in the US have "opt-in", this means that you have given consent to become an organ donor.

Other things to consider putting into such a law would be that if you have religious or personal preference, clear wording with an explanation of what this "opt-out" law would involve.

I am extremely grateful for this amazing gift that I received.  If you choose to sign my petition you choose to save lives.  I know that this isn't for everyone and I accept that.  There are many reasons to choose either way, signing this doesn't mean you cant opt-out if you choose. This allows an easier way for those to give consent and to save lives! 

Thank you for reading this.

  ~Shannon Buttermore (18 year deceased doner kidney recipient) 

 

 

 



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