Guess Who Registers to Donate Organs The Most?

I remember nervously checking the box on my license.  Donate my organs?  Well. . .okay.

Probably like most of us, it made me squeamish to think about someone digging in my body for my heart and lungs and kidney (I only have one functioning one!).  But then I realized, I'm dead.  So what does it matter?  And it might save the life of someone who really needs it.

Now a new study has found the people who most often donate organs.  Wait for it.  It's doctors.

According to, a study that included about 15,000 physicians found that they were more likely to be registered as an organ donor compared to the general public.

Sadly, less than 40 percent of the public is registered for organ donation in most countries with a registry. “One common fear is that physicians will not take all measures to save the life of a registered citizen at a time of illness. Showing that many physicians are registered for organ donation themselves could help dispel this myth, the Web site reports. Although most physicians in surveys support organ donation, whether they are actually registered remains unknown,” according to background information in the article.
In the study almost 7,000 (43.3 percent) were registered, a significantly higher proportion than matched citizens (29.5 percent) or the general public (23.9 percent). Physicians were 47 percent more likely to be registered for organ and tissue donation than matched citizens. Similar to factors associated with registration in non-physicians, younger physicians and women were more likely to register, newswise notes.

I found it very interesting that my lawyer, who himself needs a kidney, advised me not to put my intention to donate in my will.  I did, anyway.

Among those registered for organ donation, 11.7 percent of physicians, 14.3 percent of matched citizens, and 16.8 percent of the general public excluded at least 1 organ or tissue from donation.

Maybe it's because I know of people, like my friend, the lawyer, who need organs, and also, the husband of one, dad of two young boys, who successfully obtained one and is doing quite well.  I never really thought about it in terms of needing one myself but with just one kidney, who knows?  I just very well might, some day.

So should you run out and register?  Yes.


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