Guest Column

Organ donation: What’s your dying wish?

2015-06-09 17:43

Tributes pour in after death of courageous organ donation campaigner (20)

2015-06-09 11:21

South Africa is mourning the death of 20 year old Jenna Lowe – a courageous campaigner for organ donations. Watch.WATCH

Mthunzi Mbatha, City Press

It’s not done in my culture. That’s the standard explanation people often give for not wanting to do something without elaborating on the merits and demerits of the deed.

Organ donation is no exception. Would I donate my organs? Maybe not, but the merits of giving someone a fighting chance to live a more fulfilling life would probably sway me to do the right thing and part with my precious body parts.

However, the decision – which ultimately rests with the donor – also affects others directly or indirectly. Would my family be able to stomach my generous act or try to fight my dying wish? That’s the million dollar question.

The cultural or religious argument against organ donation hasn’t been canvassed extensively except to say it’s morally right to leave the body in death as intact as it was at creation. But there isn’t much scripture reference to support this position.

Science, on the contrary, has the upper hand with documented evidence proving that organs don’t add much value to the body when it has no life in it. The organs have a better chance of being useful to a body that has life prospects.

While it’s preferable to use scientific proof to advance an argument, it is also worthwhile to leave room for other modalities because there is more to life than the physical. Ultimately, it is the individual’s choice to decide what they believe in, subscribe to and do with their bodies.

I think a culture of giving is worth considering... 

Read more on:    organ donation

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