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Today, people have strong opinions on whether or not to allow our youth to have a voice over their organs. A parent or guardian who may lose a child will make the final decision on whether the child’s organs will be donated. One of the hardest factors that doctors face is that a child may sign up to be a donor, but the parent will have the last word regardless of the child’s wish. It is a difficult decision that parents should never have to face. Most parents never sit down with their children to have a conversation about what to do if something happens to them, because they believe this is not an age-appropriate conversation. No matter the age, the decision is a difficult one to make. Parents who are misinformed about being a donor can cause panic in individuals rather than doing good. Most people are afraid of donating organs because they have never taken the time to learn about being an organ donor. People need to understand that taking time to understand what options a person has in a situation is not always a terrible thing. A family that is ready for the unexpected could be a blessing to those who are in need. Providing our youth with information about organ donations would benefit organ transplants as it would inform adolescents of their options, reduce risks from substance abuse, and increase the number of organ donors.

Information is one of the most powerful ways that people can educate the youth of today. Being at a vulnerable age would allow adolescents to be open-minded to the idea of donating organs. Teens are not corrupted by the misconceptions that many adults face when discussing organ registration. Many of them have yet to endure the conversation over being an organ donor. “The top two reasons cited for not becoming organ donors are associated with insufficient access to information and the lack of confidence in the use of body parts beneficially.”(Tumin) If experts had access to a school and the students, they would provide the students a better understanding of what organ donating means, the process, and future effects. It also allows students to have a voice while being in an open environment with others who are facing the same issues. “Providing education in a classroom setting is an effective tool in increasing registration intentions.” (Esther) Allowing them an open space to communicate their beliefs with open-ended discussions could enable students to have a safe place without feeling pressured. They will voice their opinion while directing their attention to a more severe problem in the world. They are gaining knowledge and experience that will assist them with their decision as they obtain their license. Educators would play a key role in their lives by facilitating teens to have access to all the information needed to become organ donors.

Substance abuse is one of the harmful causes that people do not consider organ failure. These substances range from alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and tobacco abuse. Most students do not think about these having a long-term effect in the future. Adolescents are usually more focused on present-day matters than the effects of their actions in the future. Statistics show that over 33.9 percent of high school students today have attempted one or more of these substances. (Elflein) Applying an educator’s workshop that ties into organ failure and organ donation could enhance the way teens think. Giving them the problem and letting them solve it will provide them with a sense of independence that teens feel they lack in their age group. Teenagers are easily influenced, so instead of pressuring them into taking these classes only to hear what they believe they already know, educators should take that time to tie it in with something that will benefit the student as well. Allowing students to know that if something were to happen to them, they have an opportunity to save at least eight lives from their organs if they had healthy ones to give. (HRSA) The little incentives that we give teens can go a long way if properly used.

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People would argue that educating our youth about organ donations would cause panic among the students and parents. Educators might state that children are at a vulnerable age and making adult-like choices forces unnecessary stress that parents feel will tarnish them from being kids. It would cause a disturbance to those who have strong disbeliefs about organ transplants, and students being forced to take a course would cause more of an ethical or political debate that school systems or parents do not wish to handle. People view children as precious objects that never should be tainted. Discussing a topic about after-death actions at the dinner table would only cause worry to parents who do not share the same beliefs. A way to endorse a path that would not make it mandatory for all students to take could make this easier. Adults are quick to voice their opinions without considering the interests of the adolescent. People are swift to make an impulsive decision when needed, but they do not think about the long-term effects or how it may impact others.

Allowing teens to have a voice over their organs could be the answer to the decrease in organ donations. Ninety-five percent of adults support organ donations, but only 58 percent are registered to contribute. (HRSA) Parents have the most significant influence on the adolescents’ thought process. Once an adolescent knows their parents are uncomfortable with discussing certain topics, it becomes a topic that will never get addressed. It is fair to say that the lack of contribution to a cause is primarily due to the misconceptions that adults hold with them. Adults have a lot more say in their teenage child’s life than people take account of. In more straightforward terms, once that kid grows to be an adult, they will react to situations in the same manner that they were taught. Parents who do not seek guidance or information about organ donations are genuinely hurting the 113,000 people who are on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant by not allowing their minds to be open to organ transplants. (HSRA) New York’s Governor enforced that it would become the 47th state to allow teens the right to register to be organ donors. (Brennan) This has permitted 63,164 new organ donors to contribute to such a great cause that allows teens who are 16 years of age to become registered donors. (Andrew) Allowing these teens to have an opportunity to register to donate will impact generations to come to have more chances of successfully giving organs to others.

Allowing teens to have the right to education about becoming a registered donor will increase the number of future donors. This will allow for more opportunities and enable school systems to develop courses that will enhance the way teens think about donating organs. It cannot be said enough that allowing teens to have a voice in their organs will only promote benefits for others who are in need. Humans have a hard time adapting to change, but with a little information, it will go a long way. Adults will one day be more comfortable talking about this subject at a dinner table with their children. It would be a normal conversation that other students would want to discuss rather than shy away from the topic. Providing teens with the opportunity to have a voice in their organs will allow more students to be informed, revert from utilizing harmful substances, and increase the number of donors.

Work Cited

    1. Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor M. Cumo Announces Measures to Increase Organ Donations in New York State. October 16, 2017. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-measures-increase-organ-donations-new-york-state
    2. Elflein John. Adolescent Drug Use in the U.S Statistics& Facts. August 8, 2019. https://www.statista.com/topics/3907/adolescent-drug-use-in-the-us/
    3. Esther Steenaart. The effectiveness of an interactive organ donation education intervention for Dutch lower education. 2019. https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-019-3882-6
    4. Health Resources and Service Administration. Organ Donation Statistics. October 2018. https://www.organdonor.gov/statistics-stories/statistics.html
    5. Makmor Tumin. Non- Organ Donor’s Attitudes Towards Incentives. February 6, 2019. Clinical Transplantation, Volume 27.
    6. Tim Brennan. A New Teenage Cause Organ Donation. May 9, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/05/opinions/teenage-organ-donation-opinion-brennan/index.html

#heathcare #medical #medicalcare #pharmaceuticals #healthcareprofessional #nurses #healthprofessionals

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