from the desk of the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


October 2020
By Anne O'Meara

Some of you might remember the social media challenge HALO conducted a couple of months back. The challenge was based on a conversation I had with my teenage son, Tommy, about serious issues like organ donation and assisted suicide. I learned in that conversation that being raised in pro-life households where the basic issues are discussed frequently does not guarantee our children will be convinced that all life is sacred.
When I talked with Tommy about organ donation, I was shocked at his impression and answers. I had explained to him that, to transplant a human heart, the transplant surgeon must take it from a person with a beating heart. He had responded, “So?” Thinking he didn’t fully understand what I had just said, I explained further that the organ donor’s life would be ended by removing their heart. My son replied,” I don’t know that is a bad thing. Maybe someone younger would need the heart.”  We then talked about whether it is okay to play God by choosing to end someone’s life.
A few months after this conversation, Tommy turned 15 and was eligible for his driver’s permit in Minnesota. To qualify for the permit, he needed to complete 30 hours of classroom training. Due to Covid-19, most of these hours were spent in Zoom calls where they frequently watched educational videos. One evening my son came to me and said, “Mom, I have a video from my class that I want you to watch. It’s about organ donation.”
The video portrayed organ donation as heroic and compassionate. As I watched, I thought to myself, “Who wouldn’t want to sign up as an organ donor after viewing that?” As the video ended, my son leaned over and said, “Mom, I know you are right. If I am pro-life, I shouldn’t sign up to be an organ donor when I get my permit - but I am going to feel like a big jerk standing at the DMV counter and saying no.” He added, “Can’t I sign up to be an organ donor, but limit the organs I would be willing to donate?”  “That’s not how it works,” I explained. If you sign up to be an organ donor on your license/permit, you can’t restrict what organs they will take. I also reminded him that organ donation by a healthy person to save the life of another is a generous act of charity. However, this gift should never significantly risk causing permanent harm or death to the donor.
If you have a child or grandchild who will soon be getting their driver’s permit or license, know that signing up as an organ donor will most likely be positioned as a heroic and compassionate thing to do. Make sure your loved one is prepared for what they will hear so they can make a life-affirming decision to not be listed as an organ donor on their permit/license.
It is also important to note that every state maintains an Orgon Donor Registry listing people who have agreed to be organ donors, either on a driver’s license application or by signing an organ donor card. These state registries are readily accessed by Orgon Procurement Organizations. However, NO STATE has a registry for those who do not want to be organ donors. Therefore, it is up to you to protect yourself. Refuse to be an organ donor in writing.
To order HALO’s organ donation refusal cards

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