Organ & Tissue Donation
Organ and tissue donation awareness was selected as the MSS National Service Project for 1998-2000 because of the importance of this issue to our patients. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are approximately 78,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list; over 6,000 of these patients will die this year before an organ becomes available for transplant. A Gallup study shows that greater than 75% of Americans would consent to donating their organs in the case of a fatal event; however, less than half of those people have discussed this with a family member.
The MSS National Service Project had several goals regarding organ donation awareness that chapters could work to achieve:
- Raise professional awareness and understanding
- Teach students how to approach organ donation with peers, patients, and their families
- Educate the community and raise public awareness on the importance of choosing to become an organ donor, and more importantly, informing family members of this intention
There are many different projects that chapters can organize. Some of these include Community Organ Donor Days for the signing of donation cards and stickers; Donor Awareness Week for speakers and conferences on the subject; and media campaigns to increase the local public awareness of this important issue. More chapter project ideas can be found in the MSS Idea Book. You can also obtain grants to fund your projects through the AMA Section Involvement Grants.
There is nothing simpler than making the commitment to become an organ donor - and nothing more important.