Organ transplants often save lives, but finding a suitable match in time can prove quite tricky. Men, women and children have waited ten years or more for kidneys, liver lobes and other organs in the constant hope of finding a match, but now there is a better way. The Internet has given us opportunities to barter, trade, purchase, sell and donate limitless items, and now you can find an organ donor on the Internet.
The premiere website for organ donors on the Internet is MatchingDonors.com, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which helps to match organ donors with those in need. Anyone can fill out a profile on the website and list the organs they would be willing to donate, such as kidney, liver, bone marrow and pancreas. Those in need of organs can also sign in and search for potential donors; they can contact people to discuss their specific situations and to find out if a transplant would be workable.
Finding an organ donor on the Internet is difficult to understand unless you are a victim of a failed organ. There are thousands of people on the lists provided by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), but dozens of people die every day because their needs could not be met in time. Most of the organ transplants that occur through UNOS are received from recently deceased cadavers, and since speed is of the essence in this situation, transplant recipients are given only a few hours’ notice.
Live organ transplants are rare because most people don’t realize it’s an option. It can be difficult to figure out where and how to sign up to donate an organ, and even when you do, the bureaucratic red tape often gets in the way. Since many criteria must be met in order for an organ transplant to be an option, the chances of finding an appropriate organ through UNOS are relatively small.
Websites like MatchingDonors.com allow patients to take control of their situation and actively seek organ donors on the Internet. They don’t feel quite as helpless or lost and their chances of finding a matching donor increase dramatically. There are obviously still obstacles when you try to find organ donors on the Internet, but the process is helped along because the donor and recipient are allowed to communicate.
One of the main concerns the authorities have with finding organ donors on the Internet is the potential for black market sales of organs to escalate. Body parts — organs included — have no intrinsic value and the sale of them is illegal in the United States. There are people for and against this law, but what doesn’t change is the fact that it is illegal. Authorities worry that if donors and recipients are meeting online, offers for monetary consideration will serve to exploit the recipients. It might also set a precedent for those who need organs but are not wealthy enough to purchase one.
If you want more information about finding organ donors on the Internet, or if you want to become an organ donor, you can visit MatchingDonors.com.